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Since naturally occurring hyaluronic acid (HA) is quickly degraded and resynthesized by the body, most HA-based therapeutics require stabilization. A common way to stabilize HA is to bind, or crosslink, HA polymers to other HA polymers, which functions to prevent their rapid, natural degradation. When crosslinked, the HA polymers increase in viscosity (thickness), and they convert from a liquid to a gel. The viscosity of this gel is determined by several factors, including the degree of crosslinkage between the HA chains. Crosslinked HA chains are still degraded by the body, but the degradation process takes several months as opposed to several hours. As a result, crosslinked HA-based therapeutics have the ability to remain stable in the body long enough to produce the desired therapeutic effect.
To achieve the desired increase in residence time, Anika Therapeutics has developed a proprietary chemical modification for crosslinking HA chains. This leads to a more durable material that remains in the body for a longer period and has enhanced mechanical properties.
Thanks to the chemical modification process known as esterification, Anika is able to create new classes of HA-derived biopolymers, known as HYAFF®. These biopolymers have controllable degradation rates which can be optimized depending on medical indication. They can also be easily processed into a variety of forms, while maintaining the excellent safety profile of hyaluronan.
Anika’s unique manufacturing technologies have allowed the creation of different solid forms of HYAFF-based biomaterials, such as meshes, non-woven textiles, perforated membranes, granules and others. This wide variety of physical conformations, combined with the ability to control degradation rates, has permitted the design and development of a range of orthobiologic, dermal, surgical, and other HA products.
Anika manufactures and distributes a diverse portfolio of HA-based products that cover a broad range of therapeutic applications to help people return to their active lives more quickly and naturally. To learn more about Anika’s product lines, please visit the following product sections: