Aesculap Breaks Into New Healthcare Markets with PLM Solutions from IBM and Dassault Systèmes

Leader in orthopedic implants cuts time to market and improves product development with CATIA V5; extends PLM platform to support international growth strategy

Paris, France – March 30, 2004 – IBM and Dassault Systèmes (Nasdaq : DASTY, Euronext Paris : #13065, DSY.PA) today announced that Aesculap SA, the French division of B. Braun responsible for the development of medical implants, will expand use of their Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions. Aesculap has achieved international success using the virtual product development platform from IBM PLM and Dassault Systèmes to develop technologically advanced orthopedic implants that meet the strict health regulations of major global markets.

Aesculap cited the need to respect international regulations, while making continuous improvements in product quality and time to market as the main reasons for the extension of its PLM platform. In order to penetrate the highly competitive and demanding US market that boasts 50% of worldwide implant sales, Aesculap chose to increase its investment in IBM PLM Solutions developed by Dassault Systèmes. The new product development and data management platform will simplify the regulatory approval processes and streamline Aesculap’s product development processes, helping the company introduce innovative orthopedic devices, such as artificial knee and hip joints, to a wider customer base.

Since the initial trial implementation of the new solutions, Aesculap has already been able to reduce the product development cycle of a typical implant by one week – a savings of 15%.

Aesculap will use CATIA V5, the world’s leading collaborative virtual product development solution, combined with SMARTEAM, for product data and lifecycle management that includes regulatory approval templates. The templates store thousands of pages of design reviews, market data, and engineering information in an easily searchable and organized Internet-based platform with digital signatures for accountability. The integrated platform will improve collaboration between Aesculap’s R&D and production facilities in France and Germany, and help Aesculap comply with strict ISO 9001 and EN 46001 standards for the medical device industry.

"To break into global healthcare markets, we required a complete solution for the development and delivery of our surgical instruments and implants. Additionally, delivering more than 10,000 implants and 150 other related devices for patients around the world, quality and traceability are of utmost importance,” said Sylvie Plumet, vice-president, Aesculap Implants. “Automated design updates and tracking functions for strict compliance with a variety of international medical standards allow us to reduce the time necessary to develop and deliver high quality orthopedic devices. More importantly for our business, the integrated PLM platform gives us total traceability of the entire product development process boosting our reactivity and allowing us to anticipate the effect of product modification, stemming from innovation or changing health regulations, on our business.”

“According to the recent global CEO study conducted by IBM, nearly two-thirds of CEOs see new and differentiated products as the key drivers for success, with new markets and new products presenting the greatest opportunity for revenue growth. IBM PLM Solutions support new product development and penetration into new markets - Aesculap is a case in point,” said Klaus Schaefer, vice president, IBM Product Lifecycle Management, Europe Middle East Africa. “IBM PLM Solutions enable manufacturing companies to concentrate on product innovation, while concurrently optimizing quality, development costs, and time to market to foster growth and minimize risk.”

“Complex products, intense competition, and a highly regulated environment – these are just a few of the challenges faced by life science companies such as Aesculap,” said Denis Senpéré, vice president PLM Europe, Dassault Systèmes. “By combining the data management strength of SMARTEAM and its FDA Compliance modules with the cutting-edge product development capabilities of CATIA V5, Aesculap can leverage its corporate intellectual property, focus on innovation, and increase its competitiveness – all key to its advancement in established and emerging healthcare markets around the world.”

About Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, is a catalyst for human progress. We provide business and people with collaborative virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations. By creating 'virtual twin experiences’ of the real world with our 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications, our customers push the boundaries of innovation, learning and production. 

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