Medical-Device Makers Look to Boost Sales Overseas

September 7, 2012 Updated Sep 7, 2012 at 7:15 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by Dan Miner

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September 7, 2012 Updated Sep 7, 2012 at 7:15 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - A new program will seek to help Buffalo-region medical device manufacturers export their products overseas, particularly to China.

The $682,000, three-year program will be administered by World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, and will support the navigation of China's import laws, and help with marketing and shipping issues overseas. The goal is a $25 million boost in economic activity over the next four years.

Officials marked the new program with a Thursday morning event at the University at Buffalo's New York Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences on Ellicott Street.

"It's yet another opportunity for our region to power our innovation economy," said Marnie LaVigne, UB's associate vice president for economic development.

UB is one of the program partners, along with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, MedTech, Jacobs Institute and U.S. Department of Commerce. Speakers at the event included LaVigne, U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-Williamsville, Maureen Smith, deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing and services at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Chris Johnston, WTCBN president, and Patrick Whalen, BNMC chief operating officer.

It was also attended by a host of business officials that could use the program, including Frank Codella, co-founder and president of Medical Acoustics. The company manufactures a therapeutic lung flute product which it markets globally.

"It will help us enter the market in China, which is definitely a task," Codella said, referencing the struggles with that country's regulations and the potential for intellectual property theft.

There are 160 life sciences companies in the Buffalo-Niagara region, LaVigne said. Those interested in learning more about the program can attend a session from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St. Registration is available through www.bioinformatics.edu and is free, though space is limited.

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