A Medical Device Daily

Baxter International (Deerfield, Illinois) last week reported plans to invest about $60 million over the next five years to expand production capacity at its four manufacturing facilities in China to support sales growth in the company's Medication Delivery and Renal businesses.

Baxter's sales in China, which were about $100 million in 2005, are expected to more than double by 2010, given the anticipated increase in demand for its intravenous solutions (IV) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) products.

“This investment symbolizes Baxter's strong commitment to meeting local needs for critical products and advancing healthcare in China and across the Asia Pacific region,“ said Peter Arduini, president of the company's Medication Delivery business. “It also underscores the importance of this key market in [our] continuing geographic expansion and growth.“

Baxter provides hospitals throughout China with a range of IV solutions and specialty products that are used in combination for fluid replenishment, general anesthesia, nutrition therapy, pain management, antibiotic therapy and chemotherapy. The company also serves a growing population of patients within the country with products and services to treat end-stage kidney disease.

In addition to four manufacturing facilities in China, Baxter operates seven others in countries across the Asia Pacific region, including India, Japan, Singapore, Australia and the Philippines.

Gerald Lema, president of Baxter Asia Pacific, said, “In the last year and a half, Baxter has significantly strengthened its regional presence, including the recent opening of the new Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai. [Our] new regional focus positions the company well to meet the growing healthcare needs of patients across the region.“

Aussie ortho firm signs U.S. distributor

Portland Orthopaedics Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) said it has signed an agreement with Plus Orthopaedics USA to serve as exclusive U.S. distributor of Portland's suite of orthopedic joint products.

Plus Orthopaedics USA is a subsidiary of Plus Orthopaedics AG , a Swiss firm that is the world's sixth-largest joint implants company with annual revenue totaling more than $700 million. It operates in 22 countries and has a fully established distribution infrastructure in 29 states across the U.S.

Over a contracted minimum three-year period covered by the agreement, Plus USA will distribute Portland's line of products, including the DTC revision hip, the M-COR primary hip, the Asian hip series and the Equator Plus Cup.

Portland said it believed the contract would accelerate its penetration of the U.S. market by up to three years.

“Plus is committed to expanding its U.S. orthopedic business and positions itself as a high-quality supplier of cutting-edge orthopedic products,“ said David Sekel, CEO of Portland Orthopaedics. He said Plus' support of his company's products “is a new opportunity for immediate and substantial market penetration in the U.S. and commercial exposure on a global scale.“

Distribution of Portland's DTC Revision Hip will begin on April 1, with Portland saying it expected Plus USA to place its first orders soon for Portland's soon-to-be-released M-COR and Equator Plus systems.

Plus USA will distribute all of Portland's products through its 29 locations across the U.S.

Canadian firm expands Australasian operations

DINMAR (Ottawa, Ontario), a healthcare information technology (IT) company, has reported expanding its business operations into the Australasia region. The new office in Melbourne, Australia, will pursue growth opportunities within Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

In addition to its Oacis computerized patient record system, DINMAR offers healthcare consulting services. “Our Oacis solution already has a strong presence in South Australia, which boasts one of the largest and most successful deployments of a fully interoperable computerized patient record system statewide,“ said CEO Mark Groper.

The company has named Richard Jackson regional director-Australasia. Jackson has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare IT, previously serving as managing director for McDonnell Douglas Information Systems (MDIS) in Australia, where he oversaw the growth of the MDIS Homer Patient Administration System, a market leader in that part of the world with more than 150 installations.

MedMira gets HIV test order from UAE

MedMira (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a provider of rapid diagnostic solutions, said it has received an order for 10,000 MiraWell Rapid HIV Tests from its Middle East distributor, Spree Trading , a member of Shawwa Group International .

The tests are destined for the Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), market, where they will be sold to immigration services, hospitals and other healthcare facilities providing rapid HIV testing. The company said MiraWell HIV is the fastest flow-through rapid HIV test in the world, providing results “instantly.“

“We believe the UAE market and the Middle East region generally hold a great deal of potential for the sale of [our] products,“ said Stephen Sham, chairman and CEO of MedMira. “Spree Trading's aggressive marketing plans and healthcare experience are key to capitalizing on sales of our products in this growing market.“

MedMira completed the registration process for the tests with the UAE Ministry of Health last year. It said Spree Trading would be pursuing further product evaluations, tender opportunities and new sales channels for the company's full product line.

MedMira said market opportunities for other MedMira products include an over-the-counter rapid HIV test and rapid test for HIV/hepatitis C co-infections.

China distributor for Imalux's OCT systems

Imalux (Cleveland), a developer of imaging systems based on optical coherence tomography technology, said it has signed a distribution agreement with Beijing Goodwell (Beijing) to promote, sell and service the Niris Imaging System in the mainland China market.

Imalux makes the Niris Imaging System to assist physicians in their diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease in urology, gastroenterology, gynecology, dermatology, dentistry and ENT applications.

Imalux said it would commence unit shipments upon completion of product registration in China. It will conduct image interpretation, sales and service training within the upcoming months with the staff of Beijing Goodwell.