Arkema products in the world of medicine
From chemical-resistant catheters to biocompatible packaging, products developed throughout our BUs contribute to improving patient care. Arkema has just exhibited at the world’s leading medical supply trade fair, Medical Design & Manufacturing 2010. Read on to learn more about how our company is contributing to this major market.
The Medical Design & Manufacturing 2010 trade fair held from 9–11 February in Anaheim, California brought in more than 16,000 medical industry professionals. Arkema took advantage of the event to unveil Plexiglas® CR 50, a revolutionary new PMMA. The resin, designed specifically to meet the needs of the medical supply market, combines unprecedented resistance to isopropyl alcohol, lipids and other chemicals, with PMMA’s traditional transparency, biocompatibility, and sterilizing gamma-ray resistance. “This represents a major step forward for the manufacturers of chemotherapy bags and catheters,” said Business Manager Performance Resins, Arkema Inc. Carmen Rodriguez. “The press conference attracted quite a crowd, and allowed us to identify several opportunities,” she said. In addition to the sneak preview of this new product, visitors to the Arkema booth also got an overview of all Arkema products for medical applications. Virtually all of our BUs make products used in the healthcare industry, from hydrogen peroxide (where we are the world’s third-leading supplier) to the pharmaceutical filtering agents made by our subsidiary CECA.
Our four major medical-supply applications
Arkema offers a broad range of solutions for medical supply manufacturers, including Plexiglas® resins, Pebax® and Rilsan® engineered polymers, Kynar® fluoropolymers, chlorinated products, PVCs and vinyls like Nakan®. “Our products are used for four main types of medical supplies: injection and IV therapy, medical packaging solutions, testing and diagnostics, and pharmaceutical supplies,” said Commercial Development Manager Homero Endara, who heads a US-based cross-BU team addressing the specific needs of the medical industry (see sidebar). The common thread that runs through all medical applications is of course a high standard of safety and sterilizability.
Certain types of equipment must meet additional requirements like resistance to chemical substances and flexibility—for injection equipment, for instance; or impact resistance for labware. Often, our functional additives—catalysts, plastifiers, and impact modifiers—enable us to comply with these stringent requirements. Our Luperox® organic peroxide is one example. It is used as a USP grade active pharmaceutical ingredient in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, including anti-acne products.
United States: Cross-BU team addresses medical market
Arkema Inc. created a specific team to address the medical market in early 2008.What makes the team so different is that its 12 members come from six different BUs. Commercial Development Manager, Healthcare and Packaging Homero Endara said, "The team has a mix of technical and business specialists. We meet once a month at our R&D centre in King of Prussia". The team's purpose is to identify the needs of corporate accounts in the medical market; drive the technological developments required to meet those needs; and produce targeted communications. For instance, this brochure developed by the team is the first of its kind at Arkema. It lists all of the applications for our products in the medical supply and equipement market, grade by grade. The team also spearheaded the Arkema booth at the MD&M tradeshow in February and has run product seminars at major medical supply companies like Johnson&Johnson and Becton Dickinson. Another recent project that involved the team was the release of a new Luperox® EZD-SP2 rubber cross-linking agent, which is used to make pharmaceutical ampoules seals.