MENTOR, OHIO (Oct. 3, 1:45 p.m. ET) — People keep getting older, living longer and wanting their surgeons to be less intrusive when conducting procedures they need more often — and as a result, US Endoscopy in Mentor keeps getting bigger.
The company is filling up its fourth building, this one 70,000 square feet in size, located within a stone's throw of its other three facilities. US Endoscopy bought the building at the start of this year and has been spending much of the time since refurbishing it to serve as a manufacturing and assembly plant.
The new building once was a medical device plant for a competitor, C.R. Bard Inc., but it has been vacant for most of the last decade, said Tony Siracusa, US Endoscopy's chief operating officer. Its interior showed the signs of its stint as a paintball battleground and Halloween haunted house when US Endoscopy took it over, he said. But it had everything necessary to house the clean rooms, specialized air flow, employee washing facilities and other special needs of the medical device business.
To help staff the new place, Siracusa said the firm will hire about 40 people over the next few months. Some others, from US Endoscopy's existing payroll of 375, will move from nearby operations, including the company's other 55,000-square foot manufacturing plant.
To help keep the new plant busy, the company plans to expand into a whole new market: urology. It's beginning to develop and make tools used in traditional and new urology procedures the same way it did in the endoscopy field, Siracusa said.
In the meantime, its existing business continues to grow. The private company does not disclose its sales, but Siracusa said volumes are up 12 percent to 15 percent over last year, which itself was a good growth year for the company.
US Endoscopy does not make endoscopes — the devices that snake through the human body's existing pathways to peer into and operate in things such as stomachs and intestines. It makes tools that go on the end of the devices.
So, when a doctor snips a polyp, seals a blood vessel or removes a foreign object, he or she often is using a net, needle or forceps made by the company. Imagine a tiny butterfly net that can snatch a swallowed dime from a child's belly and you'll get a pretty good picture of one of US Endoscopy's more common products.
All told, the company ships out about 15 million little devices a year, Siracusa said, all from its Mentor facilities. But it's only beginning to enter the urology market, where it markets under the brand name US Urology, Siracusa said.
“It could even be bigger (than endoscopy) — the urology market is bigger now,” Siracusa said.
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