Memry Corp. and Biomer Technology Ltd. have agreed to jointly develop proprietary drug-loadable coatings for stents and possibly other medical devices.
Memry has made a $400,000 initial investment in Runcon, England-based Biomer for the development of technologies relating to Memry's Nitinol medical devices and will finance a $200,000 joint development program for the same technology, said Philippe Poncet, Memry's vice president of business development.
The two companies have entered the first phase of the joint development project, which could span as many as three phases, he said. The length of the project ``depends on when and where we decide to commercialize the product.''
Memry is making the Nitinol stent and Biomer is producing the coating.
Biomer is a privately held producer of polyurethanes, process technology, components and products for the medical-device industry. The firm's flexible-grade ZyTar polyurethane-based goods have been approved for use in humans.
It currently is developing a new generation of biocompatible surface coatings for medical-device applications, including drug delivery, tissue engineering and drug-eluting stents. The company's coatings are in pre-clinical evaluation on other medical substrates, according to James Binch, president and chief executive officer of Bethel, Conn.-based Memry.
Biomer's technology expertise ties in well with Memry's design, engineering, development and manufacturing capabilities in the medical product and other industries, Poncet said.
``This is a major milestone in Memry's development strategy,'' he said. ``We are excited by the opportunity to help create products with enhanced surface characteristics for our stent customers. These coatings lend themselves to drug loading and elution, enabling us to develop and supply next-generation drug-loadable Nitinol stent components.''