Columbia biotech company that makes skin substitutes is sold to a London-based firm

The sale of one of Maryland’s most promising, but also once-troubled biotechnology companies, Osiris Therapeutics Inc., to a British medical equipment maker is complete, the Columbia-based company announced.

Smith & Nephew plc paid $660 million for Osiris, which focuses on developing and marketing stem cell-based, or regenerative medicine, products for wound care, orthopedics and sports medicine.

About 70 percent of the company’s revenue comes from two products. That includes Grafix, a human skin substitute used on acute and chronic wounds, and Stravix, another substitute used as a surgical cover or wrap to support soft tissue repair.

With the sale, the company will operate as a subsidiary of London-based Smith and Nephew, a medical products and equipment maker with nearly $5 billion in sales last year.

The sale did not require a vote by Osiris stockholders, the company said. A majority of outstanding shares of common stock were purchased by Smith & Nephew. Shares not purchased have been converted into a right to receive $19 per share in cash.

The sale comes after a troubled phase for the company.

Osiris reached a $1.5 million settlement in 2017 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on charges of accounting fraud for overstating revenue. Four of its former executives also were charged, and the company went through more management upheaval afterward that included a series of new CEOs. At the time, the company attributed the problems to a former management team.

The company traded over the counter for a while after being delisted by Nasdaq. Its shares traded between $4 and $7 each for much of 2016 and 2017.

The company’s stock, whose price rose in recent months, will stop trading on the Nasdaq exchange with the sale. The closing price in recent days has hovered around $19, which was the per-share sale price.

The sale to Smith & Nephew was announced last month.

"Greater presence in the fast growing regenerative medicine market enhances our portfolio and will help immediately accelerate our wound management business as well as provide longer term innovations in additional channels and indications,” Smith & Nephew CEO Namal Nawana said in a statement. “We sought out a fast growing portfolio with strong clinical evidence addressing critical needs in the marketplace."

Osiris’ 360 employees are expected to stay with the company.

meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

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