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Covidien shutters upstate N.Y. plant

March 5, 2009 by MassDevice staff

After a round of layoffs last year and a manufacturing move to China, Covidien closes its Watertown, N.Y., plant, leaving nearly 250 out of work.

Covidien has been clearing the deck in an effort to weather the economic tsunami that's battered manufacturers particularly hard, according to news reports.

The Mansfield-based medical devices, imaging solutions, pharmaceutical products and medical supplies maker cut 40 full-time positions last January at its Watertown, N.Y., plant and moved production of four of the facility's product lines to Shanghai.

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AdvaMed: More is better when it comes to DTC marketing

March 5, 2009 by MassDevice staff

The Advanced Medical Technology Assn. formulates guidelines for direct-to-consumer marketing of medical devices, asking members to carefully police their ad campaigns.

Looking to head consumer advocates, regulators and members of Congress off at the pass, the Advanced Medical Technology Association came up with a set of guidelines for medical device makers' direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns.

The issue has attracted the attention of consumer advocates after high-profile marketing campaigns by Johnson & Johnson and Biomet featuring Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton.

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Southampton couple looks to ease injection anxiety

March 5, 2009 by MassDevice staff

Inventors Christopher and Sonia Hillios are developing the Confidisc to help diabetics and others get over their fear of injections.

A Southampton couple is developing a simple medical device with a lofty aim: easing injection anxiety for diabetics and other patients.

Christopher and Sonia Hillios are awaiting patent approval for their Confidisc concept, an injection aid for syringes and injection pens, Mass High Tech reported.

Confidisc, a 1.25-in. diameter, polymer-based disk, is designed to reduces injection anxiety and pain perception, according to its creators.

And although it's projected to cost only about a dollar, its potential market includes about 20 million diabetics in the United States alone.

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AdvanSource Biomaterials CFO jumps ship

March 4, 2009 by MassDevice staff

Wilmington polymer materials maker’s CFO, Eric Walters, resigns and is replaced by David Volpe.

AdvanSource Biomaterials Corp. appointed a new interim CFO after the departure of Eric Walters, who resigned to pursue “other personal interests.”

The Wilmington polymer materials maker named David Volpe as interim CFO.

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Boston Fed: New England’s economy still on the downswing

March 4, 2009 by Anonymous

The biotech industry is one of the sole bright spots in the Federal Reserve Bank’s “beige book” report on New England’s economy.

The New England economy is still in a tailspin, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s “beige book” report, with the exception of the region’s biotech industry.
Most manufacturers reported year-over-year revenue declines, according to the report, and almost all said they expect first-quarter sales to come in below last year’s levels.
But biopharmaceutical sales are still on the upswing, growing at a double-digit clip, and manufacturers of innovative products (like medical devices) reported that exports are holding their own compared with last year.
And although about half of the company’s surveyed by the Fed reported laying off workers or cutting back hours, the biotech sector is on track for employment growth.

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Venrock raises $194 million for healthcare VC fund

March 4, 2009 by Brad Perriello

The Rockefeller family's venture capital arm seeds its healthcare growth fund with nearly $200 million.

Venrock raised nearly $200 million to seed its healthcare venture capital fund and add to its portfolio of 39 healthcare companies.

The VC shop, originally formed as the Rockefeller family's venture vehicle, has offices in Cambridge, Palo Alto, Israel and New York City. With the closing of its latest healthcare fundraising round, Venrock has about $2.2 billion at its disposal.

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Pressure Biosciences burns cash and cuts staff

March 4, 2009 by MassDevice staff

South Easton lab equipment maker lays off 40 percent of its staff and sells off equity to boost dwindling cash reserves.

Strapped for cash after burning through more than 80 percent of its bank account in 2008, Pressure BioSciences Inc. was forced to cut nearly half of its staff in the fourth quarter.

Company officials at the South Easton lab equipment maker called the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2008, an "extremely difficult" period, citing mounting cash concerns as the reason for shedding eight of its 20 employees.

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