A Medical Device Daily

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) reported that it has signed an agreement with the Gerresheimer Group (Dusseldorf, Germany) to form a joint venture creating a manufacturer of disposable and reusable glass labware for scientific laboratories. Gerresheimer is a global supplier of specialty glass and plastic devices for the life sciences.

The new entity, called Kimble/Chase Life Scienceware, LLC, will be based in New Jersey, with additional operations in the U.S., Germany, Mexico and China. Closing of the j-v is subject to customary conditions.

Thermo Fisher will own 49% of the j-v, contributing its Chase Scientific, Scherf and Pfeiffer glassware lines, which generated about $55 million of revenue in 2006 and manufactured in the U.S. and Germany. Gerresheimer, which will own 51%, contributes its life science research products including certain Kimble, Kontes and Bomex brands, which generated about $68 million of 2006 revenue and are manufactured in the U.S., Mexico and China.

The agreement expands an existing sales/marketing j-v in place between the companies since 2001.

"This joint venture will reshape the glass consumables marketplace," said Guy Broadbent, senior VP and president of laboratory products for Thermo Fisher Scientific. "The combination of well-known glass labware brands from Thermo Fisher and Gerresheimer will form a leading supplier with an extensive product portfolio and a global footprint. With its significant production capabilities in China, the new business will be able to more effectively deliver its products to customers in that growing market as well as other parts of the world."

Doncasters bolsters metal-on-metal

Doncasters Medical Technologies (Oregon City, Oregon), a supplier to the OEM joint replacement and spinal prosthetic markets for the manufacture of investment castings, forgings, and finished medical implants and instruments, reported that it has expanded its technical capabilities in metal-on-metal resurfacing programs.

Doncasters, with operations in the U.S., Mexico and the UK, said it has boosted manufacturing capacity for forging, casting, machining and polishing by transferring non-medical work undertaken in its Oregon and Sheffield, UK, facilities to other sites within the Doncasters Group to create capacity for the medical business and a focused supply chain.

"We are committed to offering customers the best solutions for the ever increasing demands of our industry, including the advancement of new approaches such as metal-on-metal," said Ken Birdsong, president/managing director for Doncasters. "Research has shown metal-on-metal bearing surfaces have a low wear rate and produce good clinical results — making the technology a viable option to total hip arthroplasty in younger and more demanding patients. At the same time, initial investigations indicate metal-on-metal articulation may play a role in reducing the wear that occurs with 'classic' total hip replacement."

Doncasters said it worked with surgeon Dr. Derek McMinn to develop the specialized metallurgy used in the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) system, a hip resurfacing technique that received FDA approval in May 2006 and has been adopted by a number of device OEMs for development and approval.

"This significant product development and increasing demand, coupled with our commitment to the medical device industry, further establishes our position as a technical innovator in the orthopedic sector, with state-of-the-art facilities, technical expertise and lean manufacturing practices, which clearly differentiate Doncasters in the marketplace," said Eric Lewis, CEO of the Doncasters Group. Doncasters also has developed an integral cast textured porous surface used on acetabular cups and applicable to other fixation surfaces such as tibia, femoral and shoulder system components.

Doncasters' clients include Aesculap, Biomet, Corin, DePuy, Finsbury, Smith & Nephew, and Zimmer.

No Comments