When I say Coors, what comes to mind? Probably not medical technology. And yet, CoorsTek, which is owned by the Coors family, has an almost 100-year legacy of supplying engineered ceramic parts and engineering and manufacturing services to the medical device industry, as well as many others. Earlier this month it launched CoorsTek Medical, broadening its medtech industry participation into the implantable medical device space.
CoorsTek offers a range of services that include product development, engineering and materials selection, intellectual property and regulatory assessments, rapid prototyping, and preclinical testing. It has participated in the successful launch of more than 150 medical devices. With the launch of CoorsTek Medical, it brings into the fold the expertise of the acquired IMDS, a contract manufacturer of implantable medical devices, and C5 MedicalWerks, a CoorsTek-affilated venture that supplies engineered materials for medical devices as well as medical device components and products. The new company combines more than 50 years of experience in medical device development and manufacturing for the orthopedic, surgical, and dental fields. It currently manufactures more than one million medical device components spanning 15 product sectors per year.
|CoorsTek Medical CEO Jonathan Coors (left) talks shop with an
employee at the company's medical manufacturing facility in
Materials engineering is a core competency at CoorsTek and CoorsTek Medical, and this expertise extends well beyond ceramics. CoorsTek, and now CoorsTek Medical, routinely develop high-quality components and products using ceramics, metals, plastics, and specialty composites, with the ability to incorporate multiple materials into a single product. High-temperature polymers such as PEEK and polyethersulfone as well as fluoropolymers are processed.
"As it relates to the implantable device space, CoorsTek Medical sees plastics as an emerging technology," Jonathan Coors, CEO of CoorsTek Medical told PlasticsToday. "We currently supply high-performance polymers used for their biocompatibility as well as their resistance to chemical, radiation, temperature, and pressure conditions during cleaning and sterilization. Polymer components are produced using high-purity materials such as PEEK at one of our state-of-the-art production facilities. Implantables often involve the integration of multiple materials, which is where materials expertise really comes into play," Coors adds.
Upheaval in the medical technology marketplace—consolidation in orthopedics and elsewhere, pricing pressures brought about by healthcare reform, and so forth—represent a unique opportunity for a company such as CoorsTek Medical, according to Coors. "In a general sense, OEMs are seeking greater efficiencies, which create potentially greater opportunities for highly efficient contract manufacturers. CoorsTek's 100+ years of high-technology manufacturing experience makes CoorsTek Medical an even more efficient player in this space," says Coors. "While the challenges you mentioned are happening, there is an ongoing trend of increased demand for medical devices as people live longer. It is an expanding market that will reward the most efficient and most cost-effective providers of quality products," adds Coors.
Norbert Sparrow is Senior Editor at PlasticsToday. Follow him on twitter @norbertcsparrow and Google+.