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Medical Polymer Company AorTech to Buy Contract Manufacturer RUA Medical Devices

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The combined capabilities would position the Scotland-based company to better serve third-party medical device OEMs looking for both a polymer and manufacturing solution to address current design problems.

Biomedical polymer technology company AorTech has entered into a conditional agreement with David Richmond to acquire RUA Medical Devices Ltd. for  £2.45 million ($3.1 million). Richmond is the non-executive director of the firm, a contract manufacturer and developer of medical devices with a specialization in implantable fabrics.

Based in Ayrshire, Scotland, RUA Medical Devices provides sub-contract manufacturing, assembly, packing and services to the medical device sector. It operates Class 7 and 8 cleanrooms on site. “This deal is a perfect strategic fit for [AorTech], providing the people, processes, and premises to allow our world-class polymers to be converted into medical device products,” said AorTech Chairman Bill Brown. The company has its headquarters in Dundee, Scotland.

AorTech’s Elast-Eon polymers combine the biological stability of silicone rubbers with the mechanical properties of polyurethanes, according to the company. They can be processed using conventional thermoplastic extrusion and molding techniques. Currently more than 2 million Elast-Eon–based long-term implants reportedly are in service.

The company licenses its polymer technology to medical device OEMs, with whom it works as a partner to develop cost-effective products. AorTech subcontracts manufacturing to Biomerics in Salt Lake City, which supplies the polymers and can, upon request, manufacture components.

Since June 2018, RUA has been doing design and development work involving Elast-Eon sealed patches and grafts; animal trials for the large-bore grafts are expected to begin in the coming months. During this process, “RUA has been provided with, and developed, a substantial amount of know-how relating to the varied manufacturing processes for Elast-Eon, which include extrusion, dip processing (casting and coating), spray coating (including electro spinning and ultrasonic) and molding (including compression, injection, and reaction molding),” said AorTech in the announcement of the proposed acquisition.

AorTech also noted that it had identified opportunities “where third-party medical device companies are looking for both a polymer and manufacturing solution to address current design problems.” AorTech said that it would not only be acquiring a “profitable, cash-generative business” through the transaction but would effectively internalize its manufacturing process, “obtaining a large amount of manufacturing know-how and . . . increasing the gross margin potential of its patches and graft products.”

If the acquisition is approved by shareholders and other relevant parties, AorTech will change its name to RUA Life Sciences plc and appoint Richmond group CEO.

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