BioMimetic Therapeutics founder and CEO Sam Lynch will leave the Franklin-based company after his team wins Food and Drug Administration approval for its promising Augment bone graft product under the umbrella of Wright Medical Group.
Arlington, Tenn.-based Wright Medical this morning said it will buy BioMimetic in a deal expected to close early next year. Lynch, 52, owns more than 5 percent of BioMimetic and stands to be paid more than $20 million by Wright Medical if Augment is a hit in the next few years. (He also is in line for a golden parachute payment of about $1.4 million.) BioMimetic officials have said they expect to have Augment, which promotes healing in patients recovering from ankle and foot surgeries, approved by the FDA between next April and January of 2014.
Lynch's planned exit could well be one of only a few big changes at BioMimetic, though. Wright Medical executives plan to retain the remaining 50 or so BioMimetic employees based in Cool Springs. On a conference call with analysts and investors, Wright Medical CEO Bob Palmisano said his team will soon be reaching out to those workers.
"We intend to make it attractive for those employees to stay a part of the company," Palmisano said. "We intend to do everything we can to retain the current group."
Palmisano and CFO Lance Berry also said they expect that BioMimetic's operations and clinical trials not tied to Augment will continue on their current paths. On the whole, they said BioMimetic's activities will pump some life into Wright Medical's shrinking biologics business. Augment, they said, will, if approved, also produce higher gross margins than Wright Medical's biologics unit now has.
"Augment gives us a differentiator product," Palmisano said. "We firmly believe this will turn this part of our business into a growth driver."