Solvay Specialty Polymers – a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics offered for use in a range of markets – has expanded its focus on the healthcare industry with the creation of a dual-pronged management team for implantable and non-implantable medical devices to meet the growing needs of its global customers.
In addition to the new management structure, Solvay Specialty Polymers announced a 50% increase in staffing for sales, marketing, and technology functions in the U.S. and Europe. Plans for further expansion in Asia-Pacific are also underway.
“Today we announce that Solvay is building on its 20-year history as a key material supplier in the healthcare field and devoting considerable new resources to help customers be more efficient and cut costs,” said Laird McBeth, head of commercial operations for Solvay Specialty Polymers. Maria Gallahue-Worl has been appointed to the position of global business development manager for healthcare plastics offered for use in non-implantable devices; Judy Melville has been appointed to the post of global business development manager for Solviva Biomaterials offered for use in implantable devices.
“The size of the opportunities for our business in healthcare materials warrants two strong and focused leaders,” said McBeth. “While Judy and Maria will lead different components of our business, they will collaborate with one another to bring a breadth of products and capabilities that are unmatched in the industry.”
In her new role, Gallahue-Worl will oversee Solvay’s healthcare business that includes medical grade plastics for instrumentation, reusable and single-use devices, medical equipment, and sterilization cases and trays. The extensive product line includes Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), Udel polysulfone (PSU), Ixef polyarylamide (PARA), AvaSpire polyaryletherketone (PAEK), and KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resins.
“OEMs and processors are seeking a partner to help address market trends and additional cost pressures,” said Gallahue-Worl. “We occupy a unique position as a broad portfolio material supplier that can help bring solutions via innovative design alternatives and material driven cost reductions.”
Melville will direct Solvay’s rapidly growing business in polymers offered for use in implantable medical devices. The line of Solviva Biomaterials includes Zeniva PEEK, which boasts a modulus very close to that of bone plus excellent biocompatibility, toughness, and fatigue resistance; Proniva self-reinforced polyphenylene (SRP), one of the world’s stiffest and strongest unreinforced thermoplastic that offers exceptional hardness and biocompatibility; Eviva polysulfone (PSU), which offers practical toughness in a strong, transparent polymer; and Veriva polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), which provides unsurpassed toughness combined with transparency and excellent biocompatibility.
“With over 10 devices now cleared through the FDA via the 510(k) process, including six in implantable spinal devices, we are excited about the growing acceptance of these materials both in the market and by the FDA,” said Melville.
Another important element in Solvay’s healthcare strategy is the recent formation of Solvay Specialty Polymers, which is comprised of the activities of Solvay Advanced Polymers, Solvay Solexis, and Solvay Padanaplast companies along with the SolVin PVDC product line. The new global business unit holds the potential for access to an even broader range of materials for the healthcare market.
“With our broad product portfolio we are firmly positioned as a strategic supplier to the healthcare industry and this expansion signals our further commitment to our customers,” said Shawn Shorrock, global market manager for healthcare. “We are leveraging our extensive expertise in polymer manufacturing and adding substantial new resources to give our customers a competitive edge in meeting their end-use requirements.”
Solvay also continues to devote considerable research and development activities to polymer technology and commercialization of new and unique material options for medical OEMs and processors.
Solvay announces major expansion in healthcare market