Medical Murray Inc. has opened a new design and development facility in Charlotte, NC, in order to take advantage of the growing medical device market in the southeastern United States, says Tanner Hargens, a regional vice president with the contract manufacturer. The leased facility is a combination of office and lab space with a new cleanroom dedicated to small-lot builds of finished devices, he says. The facility will also support clinical trials and low-volume pilot production.
|Meet with medical device contract manufacturers at the MD&M Minneapolis exposition, October 29–30, 2013.|
Based in North Barrington, IL, Medical Murray was founded in 1996 and works with OEMs on minimally invasive complex catheters, implants, and bioabsorbables used in less-invasive vascular, urologic, and surgical applications. Injection molding will be available only at Medical Murray’s Illinois plant and not at the Charlotte site. Hargens, who specializes in biomechanics and biomaterials, oversees operations at the Charlotte facility. He has spent more than 10 years conducting medical device engineering research, design, and development.
“We’ve always thought the Southeast is a relatively underserved region for the kinds of services that Medical Murray offers,” Hargens says. There is a trend toward start-ups in the region backed by well-established companies outsourcing their R&D, he says. A lack of venture capital (VC) in the area has led entrepreneurs to turn to large companies instead of VC sources for funding, according to Hargens. A number of companies over the last two or three years have taken this funding route in the region, he says.
Proximity to the market in the Southeast is the key driver behind the expansion. Medical Murray is “extremely relationship-oriented,” Hargens says. “The close proximity leads to better relationships and better service.” Company reps would rather hop in a car than a plane to visit its OEM clients, he points out. The contract manufacturer’s services run from concept creation through regulatory matters to production. Medical Murray is also collaborating with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center on biotech research, business, education, and research policy.
The lease at the new facility gives Medical Murray the flexibility to move to a larger space down the line, says Hargens, who adds that the site is “already a profitable experiment.” The contract manufacturer had established “a pretty good customer base in the region” and a few clients were “ready to see the brick and mortar,” he says.
|Check out the exhibits of medical device contract manufacturers at the MD&M Minneapolis exposition, October 29–30, 2013.|
John Conroy is a frequent contributor to MD+DI.