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NuSil expands into general health care markets

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ANAHEIM, Calif.—NuSil Technology L.L.C. has been a player in the medical long-term implant market for decades, but more recently it has decided to expand into more general health care markets, including drug delivery and skin care.

“NuSil Technology is over 30 years old. It was founded by two chemists who really wanted to make high quality products for the aerospace industry,” Pradnya Parulekar, key account manager, general health care, said during the recent MD&M West Show in Anaheim.

The company expanded into the medical market “on the behest of both the FDA and Dow Corning” back when there were concerns about using silicone in breast implants, she said.

Parulekar said the firm has been focused primarily on health care, especially in the long-term medical implant market, but is expanding into general health care.

The company is looking to create disposables for pumps, needle coatings and functional sealing devices.

“We're excited to do this because it's a little bit newer for us. ... It's a new market, so we've got a specialized team that's focused on that,” she said.

Besides general health care, NuSil is expanding in the drug delivery market because the company has seen several changes in the market, Parulekar said.

“Drug delivery is one new technology that is growing pretty rapidly” in the pharmeutical and medical device sectors of the industry, with “NuSil being a big player in that,” she said.

To strive for innovation in these niche sectors, NuSil has dedicated key individuals who are helping the company grow the business for customers in this sector, including in such areas as women's health, cardiac and diabetes care.

Demand drove NuSil to expand. “There was a demand for the market to have new players in it,” Parulekar said.

“There had been some upheaval in the silicone market with our competition, and we just saw a space, and we were asked by our customers to make products that would work for them.”

Entering the drug delivery market is uncommon for companies because of the liability concerns, she added, but NuSil is already well-respected with certain companies and the FDA that it “just felt it would be a natural niche for us to go into.

“We're not interested in competing for our customers; we're only interested in making their lives easier.”

NuSil is known for taking risks and trying new things, Parulekar said. If a client requests 10 pounds of a glow-in-the-dark silicone, NuSil will find a way to make it happen.

“We're known for customizing and making specialized products that push the market boundaries,” she said.

Because of this, the company learns new technologies.

“So we're excited to be working with customers that are pushing us to do this because we think the future is going to be in high quality products that are easy to manipulate,” Parulekar added.

One trend NuSil is seeing is that consumers are becoming more responsible for their health, so as home care starts to increase, original equipment manufacturers are going to have to develop more easy-to-use and more reliable products.

NuSil is trying to match this by conducting reliability testing and proving that its materials can stand the requirements, she said.

NuSil has created a new Class 6 technology that incorporates improvements it has learned over the last decade from other materials and feedback, Parulekar said.

The company has incorporated some processing ingredients that is going to allow for better predictability of how the material is going to run, she added, which is important to the company's fabricators.

The new technology is created for the Class 6 market specifically, she said, and is not meant for premium health care products or medical implants.

“But it is really important for the disposable market, which is a big purchase end for hospitals,” Parulekar added.

NuSil also is expanding into the skin care market.

“Silicone is an important ingredient for high-end skin care, cosmeceuticals regimes, and we're playing an active role in that as well,” she said. “Mostly because of the knowledge we have with medical implants and health care, we are able to play in that market.”

NuSil's manufactures at its headquarters facility in Carpinteria, Calif.