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Cook's New Site Spotlights Regenerative Medicine

As more doctors look to biologics for tissue engineering and wound care treatment, Cook Medical has stepped up with a Web site that is dedicated to educating patients and the healthcare community about regenerative medicine, and more specifically, its Biodesign product.

The official announcement will be made today at the American College of Surgeons meeting. Andy Cron, vice president and global leader of Cook Medical's Surgery Strategic Business Unit, sat down with MD&DI prior to the launch of CookBiodesign.com to talk a bit about the scope of the site and the company's hopes for it. Companies involved in biologics and regenerative medicine struggle to adequately educate doctors about the differences between products. Cook is targeting physicians on both a scientific and biologic level. "This site [will help doctors] understand how the material works, how it attracts sales, and what differentiates it from other materials out there--specifically synthetics as the market moves away from synthetics and into biologics," says Cron. "I think that's one of the main reasons that we wanted to put the site out there." A resource library features more than 700 articles and videos. The library is intended more as a tool for doctors, but any user can access it. Cron wants to work with doctors who can demonstrate specific techniques on videos in order to use the site as a learning tool for surgeons around the world. "[The process is] different for surgeons who have used synthetics. I can't just give them a Biodesign product and expect them to use it exactly like synthetics and get the outcomes they would want for their patients," says Cron. "This offers us a tool to help them understand those small nuisances and [provides information about] additional techniques." In addition to information for doctors and patients, the site has resources for hospital administrators. "For a new technology to be brought into an institution, you have to really show value and cost benefit," says Cron, adding that the site allows hospital administrators to sign in and access information that allows them to make more economic decisions. Beyond the scope of the new Web site, Cron talked a bit about biologics in general and potential areas of new product development. While an antimicrobial biologic graft or adding a drug delivery component to a graft is possible to manufacture, Cron says the real challenge--for Cook and other device companies--will be the regulatory environment and demonstrating the safety and outcomes of more complex products.

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