The idea behind the product is fairly simple. Before closing a patient up, a surgeon lays down sheets of Seprafilm, which act as a temporary barrier between organs and layers of tissue. The thin sheets block adhesion formation, which usually occurs shortly after surgery, and then are absorbed into the body. Genzyme recently strengthened the product's profile through a study that demonstrated that Seprafilm reduced the incidence of adhesive small-bowel obstruction following colorectal surgery.
While Seprafilm is in wide use and has shown solid growth, it may not have reached its full potential. The obstetrics area, and Cesarean sections in particular, could be a driver. More women are opting for elective C-sections over traditional birth, and many doctors are reluctant to deliver babies vaginally after one C-section has been performed. This uptick in C-sections could represent a nice revenue opportunity.
Genzyme's Seprafilm has mostly dominated the abdominal surgery area, but the gynecological segment is more hotly contested. For example, Interceed, from Johnson & Johnson's
With recent solid data on its effectiveness in preventing adhesions, Seprafilm may see wider application in the rising number of C-section procedures, an encouraging possibility for Genzyme.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Ill. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned here.