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Medical technology company BME riding new wave of success
February 14, 2014

BioMedical Enterprises' Keith Peeples says the San Antonio medical device company is primed for significant growth (Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Johnson, San Antonio Business Journal)

By W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

Concerns about regulatory issues and taxation, among other challenges, have caused great consternation for the medical device industry in recent years. Certain experts have warned that these challenges could bring catastrophic harm to companies and patients.

Some medical technology companies have managed to build momentum in this unpredictable climate. Count BioMedical Enterprises Inc. (BME), a privately-held company based in San Antonio, among them.

BME President and CEO Keith Peeples, who joined the company in mid-2009, won't divulge the medical device firm's 2013 revenues. But it's clear the manufacturer and marketer of metal implants used in orthopaedic reconstructive surgery and fracture management is in the midst of a significant growth period.

Peeples says BME, the first company to manufacture nitinol implants that can be used in the foot, hand and wrist, has grown its revenues by more than $15 million over the last four years and is on pace to see a 20 percent gain in 2014.

"We've grown roughly 250 percent over the last four years," says Peeples about BME's growth spurt. "Business is really good. We're putting some money in the bank."
BME is still a young company with a somewhat limited product portfolio.

"Last year, we didn't have anything new coming out," so we built up marketing and R&D (research and development)," Peeples explains. "By mid-year, we're going to have some new toys. We are going to expand our product line. That of course will stimulate sales."

To keep up with its growth, BME has had to add more personnel. When Peeples joined the company less than five years ago, it had approximately 25 employees.

"We just hired our 49th employee," he says.

There have been some challenges. Last month, BME filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against Memphis-based Solana Surgical LLC. BME alleged that Solana had infringed on its U.S. Patent No. 8,584,853 through the sale of a line of products, including the Solana FuseFORCE Fixation System.

A spokeswoman for Solana, Julie Tracy, said the company has no comment on the lawsuit.

There have also been some new opportunities. BME has entered into a partnership with CellRight Technologies, a locally-based bioscience entity engaged in the development of regenerative osteobiologic and wound-care scaffolds.

"For us, it's a nice fit," says Peeples about the alliance. "We are a small-bone-fixation company. There are a number of patients who need some biologic assistance. (CellRight) is a new biologic company. We were looking to expand and so we've partnered up. Hopefully, it will work out for both of us."


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