Sponsored By

When TekniPlex Healthcare was established in 2021, the objective was to bring its material science expertise and manufacturing know how to the medtech space, but it was missing a piece of the puzzle.

Norbert Sparrow

February 15, 2024

4 Min Read
IV set
Bong Hyunjung/iStock via Getty Images

Material science specialist TekniPlex has been on nothing short of a shopping spree, acquiring 20 companies over the past 10 years. When TekniPlex Healthcare acquired Seisa Medical, a contract manufacturer of Class II and Class III medical devices, in December 2023, however, the stakes were higher. At the time, it described the acquisition as “transformative.” PlasticsToday sat down with TekniPlex Healthcare CEO Christopher Qualters at last week’s Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West show in Anaheim, CA, to find out why.

Finding a place on the medtech map

Wayne, PA–based TekniPlex, a materials science and manufacturing company serving the healthcare and consumer markets, is owned by private equity firm Genstar Capital. “In 2021, we brought together all our business assets under TekniPlex Healthcare,” explained Qualters from the company’s booth at MD&M West. The objective was to be a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) bringing solutions to medtech OEMs by combining “material science expertise and manufacturing and industry know how.” It soon became apparent, however, that a piece was missing to truly put TekniPlex Healthcare on the medtech map.

qualters-650.png

“Materials science brings two things to the table: It affects process capability as well as patient performance. We really needed some design muscle to combine with our material science and manufacturing prowess to move the business,” said Qualters. In other words, the company needed to graduate from a CMO to a CDMO — a contract design and manufacturing organization.

Related:Updated: TekniPlex Bolsters Medtech Reach with Seisa Acquisition

What Seisa brought to the portfolio

“We want to be able to sit right next to our customers in early stage R&D, design and development,” said Qualters. “We bring in the material science and the knowledge that at some point that key component will have to be manufactured. The customer can then focus on the patient performance and outcome end of that design.” Seisa brought that and more to the TekniPlex portfolio.

Based in El Paso, TX, Seisa is a medical device manufacturer servicing every stage of the product life cycle, including design and development, component manufacturing, and final assembly. It employs more than 2,000 people across four facilities in the United States, Mexico, and Slovakia. 

“Seisa brings us metal capabilities in nitinol and stainless steel, for example, and puts us in the interventional space in terms of implants, stents, delivery systems, full catheter design. The other thing it brought from a CDMO perspective is engineering muscle, not just for design optimization but validation and performance testing,” said Qualters. He cited the ability to simulate catheter use in the lab to optimize the tubing and improve clinician performance and patient safety, along with more process capabilities — injection molding, nitinol processing, and vascular sewing with stent grafts. That will allow TekniPlex Healthcare to move into artificial heart valves and various different minimally invasive products, he noted.

Related:TekniPlex Healthcare Adds Multilayer Blown Film Capabilities

“When we are interfacing with our medtech customers now, we have that much more capability — engineering muscle to go along with our material science and process expertise. It truly makes us a CDMO partner,” said Qualters.

World’s first solvent-bondable TPE tubing

TekniPlex Healthcare also used the MD&M stage to highlight its range of solvent-bondable thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) tubing, an alternative to PVC produced with the company’s proprietary compound formulations.

PVC has been a mainstay tubing material for a number of reasons, explained Qualters, specifically because of its kink resistance and high-strength solvent-bonding capability. “Solvent bonding is critical to prevent leaks when you add cannulas and flow control valves to a tubing line, for example,” said Qualters. TPE is preferred for some procedures and applications, he added, but historically it has not been solvent bondable. Instead, barb connectors have been used and they are more susceptible to leaking. “With our material science capabilities, we developed the world’s first solvent-bondable TPE formulation, which provides solvent bonding strength similar to PVC along with kink resistance,” said Qualters.

MD&M West is part of the Informa Markets Engineering (IME) West event, which also includes Plastec West and other trade shows devoted to automation, packaging, and design, as well as associated conferences. It will return to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, on Feb. 4 to 6, 2025.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like