Headquarters: Raynham, Massachusetts, USA
Number of Employees Worldwide: 12,000
The chances are that someone you know – a parent, grandparent, neighbour or friend – is walking around on a replacement hip. After all, hip replacement is one of the most common surgical procedures in the UK, with around 85,000 taking place every year.
But what you might not know is that one in three of those replacement hips originated from work right here in Leeds by DePuy Synthes, part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and one of the world’s leading providers of orthopaedic products, services and solutions.
This connection with the city of Leeds stretches back to the early 20th Century, when one of DePuy Synthes’ founding companies began producing surgical instruments to meet the needs of surgeons in the nearby Leeds General infirmary. This company went on to work with Sir John Charnley, a pioneer in hip replacement surgery, and in 1957 acquired a factory on St. Anthony’s Road, Beeston, where it is still based today. Rapid expansion followed, and in 1998 the company was bought by Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest healthcare company. Today DePuy Synthes offers the world’s largest portfolio of orthopaedic and neurological products and services designed to advance patient care and deliver clinical and economic value.
In 2015 DePuy Synthes significantly expanded its investment and commitment to Leeds when it opened a new, world-leading centre of excellence for orthopaedic research and development (R&D) at the St. Anthony’s Road site. The new centre added 1,000 square metres of state-of-the-art test laboratories, including a replica operating theatre where R&D teams can watch surgeons working in real scenarios, providing them with the insights to develop new products and services. Mindful of minimizing the impact on the community and environment, the new facility was built using cutting edge sustainable building design, and incorporates energy efficient lighting, solar panels, rainwater harvesting and many other features.
Since the new R&D centre opened, DePuy Synthes has continued to invest in its Leeds operations, almost doubling its local workforce to 750 employees, increasing the number of field sales representatives, commercial staff, student placements, and apprentices. DePuy Synthes is also an active supporter of the local community through social programmes and volunteering, and is proud to be involved with the Hugh Gaitskell School, St Gemma’s Hospice charity and the Holbeck & Beeston Food Bank.
DePuy Synthes’ decision to locate and invest in Leeds was grounded in the city’s history of innovation in medical technology, the availability of skills, the long-term commitment to life sciences in the region and also access to academic networks.
The latter is particularly important to DePuy Synthes’ innovation activity, and its partnership with the University of Leeds has spanned more than 15 years. The University is known for its pioneering work in tribology – the science of interacting surfaces and bearing technology – and remains at the global forefront of this technology, one of the key performance factors relating to joint replacement.