Cook splits device unit to focus on cancer products

February 9, 2009

The Turtles crooned that they were "so happy together." But Cook Medical is thinking just the opposite.

It has split its interventional devices business into two units, pulling its lesser known cancer products out from under the shadow of its heart products, such as metal stents and angioplasty balloons used to prop open arteries.

Bloomington-based Cook hopes the separate attention helps improve worldwide sales of cancer devices, such as biopsy needles and infusion ports for cancer patients.

"We spent a lot of time investing in stents and balloons and those types of products that you're already familiar with. The creation of the new [business unit] allows us to put more focus on the other lines," said Dan Sirota, chief of Cook's new business unit, which is called Interventional Radiology.

Cook's timing is good. The World Health Organization estimates that an increasingly aged population will double the worldwide cases of cancer by 2030, to more than 27 million.

Cook's Interventional Radiology unit will release three to four new products this year, Sirota said. He declined to provide details about the products.

All products for the unit are manufactured in Bloomington.

The unit also will hire an undetermined number of new personnel, including engineers, sales representatives, regulatory personnel and support staff.

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