Press release

ALPHARETTA, Ga., January 10, 2013– The Solviva® Biomaterials line of high-performance plastics for implantable applications – manufactured by Solvay Specialty Polymers – is now commercially available in China, the company has announced. The biomaterials line, previously available in the U.S. and Europe, is targeted to meet growing demand in the Chinese market, complementing Solvay’s already extensive healthcare offering in China which includes medical polymers for non-implantable uses. Solvay will give a presentation on its Solviva® Biomaterials offering during the annual meeting of China’s Surgical Implant Committee Jan. 11-14 in X’Ian City, China.

“With our broad product portfolio we are firmly positioned as a strategic supplier to the Chinese healthcare industry and this expansion in biomaterials signals our further commitment to national and multinational OEMs,” said Shawn Shorrock, global market manager for healthcare. “We are leveraging our position as a leading supplier of high-performance polymers to support applications from instrumentation to implants.” Solviva® Biomaterials will primarily be targeted at orthopedic and cardiovascular applications.

The expansion into the high-growth Chinese market is a key element of Solvay’s global strategy to grow the Solviva® Biomaterials line, according to Judy Melville, global business manager for Solviva® Biomaterials. “This is an important first step that will unlock key business opportunities and firmly position us for future growth,” said Melville. She noted that the expansion into China is the first of a series of planned expansions into new global regions. Solvay will serve the Chinese market from its Shanghai facility where it operates research and development, sales, and commercial activities.

For implantable medical devices, the Solviva® Biomaterials line includes Zeniva® PEEK, which boasts a modulus very close to that of bone plus excellent biocompatibility, toughness, and fatigue resistance; Proniva® self-reinforced polyphenylene (SRP), one of the world’s stiffest and strongest unreinforced thermoplastic that offers exceptional hardness and biocompatibility; Eviva® polysulfone (PSU), which offers practical toughness in a strong, transparent polymer; and Veriva® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), which provides unsurpassed toughness combined with transparency and excellent biocompatibility.

Solviva® Biomaterials can be sterilized via all conventional methods including gamma radiation, ethylene oxide, and steam. These products are available in resin for injection molding or extrusion, as well as stock shapes for machined components.

The entire line of thermoplastic Solviva® Biomaterials is manufactured in compliance with the relevant aspects of ISO 13485 and under the relevant aspects of current Good Manufacturing Practices. Solvay’s biomaterial manufacturing processes are carefully validated and enhanced controls provide product traceability. In addition, all materials are tested in an accredited lab that is ISO 17025 compliant.

Solvay’s commercial success in the U.S. and Europe with Solviva® Biomaterials is highlighted by the growing use of Zeniva® PEEK in the spinal fusion market, said Shorrock. “The ongoing acceptance of Zeniva® PEEK has validated our approach to the spinal market and we’re encouraged by the momentum we’ve generated,” she noted.

Solvay’s experience as a key materials supplier in the healthcare field spans more than 20 years. The company has been a leading manufacturer of high-performance plastics, offering its traditional range of materials for medical devices. More recently, Solvay has successfully introduced its line of Solviva® Biomaterials for a range of implantable devices. The company is a full-service supplier, providing design, technical service, and application development support for the global healthcare market. Solvay also continues to devote considerable research and development activities to polymer technology and commercialization of new and unique material options for medical OEMs and processors.

About Solvay Specialty Polymers 

Solvay Specialty Polymers is a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics for implantable and non-implantable medical devices. The company has expanded its focus on the healthcare industry to meet the growing needs of its global customers. Last year, Solvay announced a new organizational structure and a 50% increase in staffing for sales, marketing, and technology functions in the U.S. and Europe. Plans for further expansion in Asia-Pacific are also underway. Solvay is building on its 20-year history as a key material supplier in the healthcare field, devoting considerable new resources to help customers be more efficient and cut costs. Metal-to-plastic replacement remains a key focus for manufacturers, but increased cost pressures pose a new challenge as the market continues to grow at a double-digit pace. Solvay also continues to devote considerable research and development activities to polymer technology and commercialization of new and unique material options for medical OEMs and processors.

Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures more products with more performance than any other polymer company in the world. The company supplies over 1500 products across 33 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil & Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire & Cable, and other markets.

As an international chemical group, SOLVAY assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. Solvay generates 90% of its net sales in activities where it is among the world's top three players. It serves many markets, varying from energy and the environment to automotive and aerospace or electricity and electronics, with one goal: to raise the performance of its clients and improve society's quality of life. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 29,400 people in 56 countries and generated 9.9 billion euros in net sales in 2013. Solvay SA is listed as SOLB.BE on NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB:BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).