By Liz White, UT editor
Scoresby, Australia-The honourable John Brumby, MP, Australian Treasurer and Minister for Innovation, Industry & Regional Development, has opened AorTech's new Research, Development and Synthesis centre at Scoresby, Victoria, Australia.
AorTech specialises in manufacture and technology licensing of biomaterials including its urethane-silicone material Elast-Eon.
The new centre, based at a Small Technologies Cluster backed by the Victorian government, includes "an expanded polymer manufacturing facility, state-of-the art clean room operations and analytical and research laboratories," said an Aortech statement.
It allows the biomaterials company to combine its synthesis, research, development, manufacturing and clean0room activities into one operation, the company added.
"Victoria is set to become a significant exporter of new generation implantable medical devices with the opening of this new research and development centre. AorTech's new centre will provide expert services for other biotech companies and research and development in Victoria.
"This company is the exclusive manufacturer of the premium grade of biostable polymer known as Elast-Eon which was invented by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to address the need for a better material for use in long-term medical devices such as pacemakers, heart valves, stents and spinal disc," said Brumby.
"Approval has recently been granted by regulatory bodies in the US and Europe for a long-term life-sustaining implantable device using the Elast-Eon polymer technology. First human use of the polymer occurred in August 2006 which is why AorTech Biomaterials is currently increasing its production capacity to meet expected market demand," the minister added.
The Victorian Government has worked closely with AorTech to set up the new facility, Brumby continued, pointing out that, "The US market for implantable medical devices is estimated at $15000 million with an annual growth rate of around 11 percent."
"Commercialisation of this Victorian-developed leading edge technology enables AorTech to secure a prime position in a fast-emerging multibillion export market," Brumby concluded.
Frank Maguire, AorTech's ceo, commented that, the new facility "will underpin AorTech's future commercial development and economic prosperity by providing room for growth as well as allowing AorTech to undertake world class research and development programmes and to provide its customers with leading-edge synthesis and manufacturing capabilities,"
The unit will also have "a state-of-the-art small batch production capability, enabling it to readily tailor polymers to meet the needs of designers of next generation devices," Maguire concluded.