When it comes to keeping bodily fluids clean, Gambro is fastidious. The medical equipment and technology company is among the world's leading manufacturers of devices and therapies for kidney and liver dialysis. Dialysis helps to remove fluids and toxins from patients with chronic and acute conditions. It specializes in hemodialysis and acute care products, with a portfolio that includes dialyzers, monitors, ultrafilters (for fluid removal), and disinfectants, as well as integrated dialysis units and software that helps to manage data on a patient's dialysis treatment. Gambro makes products for both clinical and home use and distributes them throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Gambro is being acquired by Baxter International.
In late 2012 Baxter agreed to acquire Gambro for some $4 billion to expand its renal dialysis operations. Baxter is purchasing Gambro from Indap AB, jointly owned by EQT and Investor AB; investment firm Investor AB is controlled by Sweden's powerful Wallenberg family.
Over the course of its history, Gambro has poured both time and money into research and development, aiming to launch new products to support its future growth. Gambro's Theralite, a therapy it developed for the treatment myeloma kidney in patients with multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells), is awaiting marketing approval in the US. It already has regulatory approval in Europe and other countries. Used on conjunction with dialysis, Theralite works to reduce the concentration of Free Light Chains (FLCs) in the blood to allow the kidney to recover function.
In 2010 an improved version of its Prismaflex eXeed software was introduced for the Prismaflex system, a widely used continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) device for the treatment of critically ill patients with acute kidney injury. Its predecessor, the Prisma, was the first automated, integrated system designed to perform a complete range of CRRT functions, as well as therapeutic plasma exchange.
In addition to R&D, Gambro looks to acquisitions to expand its offerings. In early 2010 the company acquired privately-held medical device maker CHF Solutions, giving it CHF's leading product, the Aquadex FlexFlow system, used to remove salt and water in patients with fluid overload. Fluid overload commonly accompanies a number of disorders, from heart failure to liver failure to kidney disease.
Later in 2010 Gambro announced its intent to boost production capacity of dialyzers with synthetic membranes at an existing plant in Germany. The plant expansion is expected to be operational in early 2013 and will boost annual production capacity to about 18 million dialyzers per year. It will complement dialyzer production already undertaken by Gambro's manufacturing plant in Alabama.
Gambro was formerly a group divided into three separate businesses dedicated to manufacturing dialysis equipment, operating dialysis centers around the globe, and developing blood bank technologies. After selling off the dialysis centers, and separating the blood bank technologies business, Gambro settled on a core focus as a medical technology company specializing in dialysis-related systems and therapies. – less