"Saving Lives with Technology"
Sumitomo Bakelite's Medical Products Business

Everyone who has been diagnosed with an illness hopes to receive the appropriate testing and therapy to recover his health.
To realize this hope, Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. has been supplying the medical devices to the market.
We aspire for "Patient-friendly medicine" by providing the variety of products.

Supporting Every Patient's health through the Medical Devices

Market Growth Continues, but Curtailing Medical Expense is our big Challenge

Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. began the medical device business by importing the medical devices from overseas. Later, since 1978, we had developed, manufactured and sold various medical devices in Japan by utilizing our plastic processing technologies Today, the medical device & equipment market in the United States alone is valued at more than 13 trillion yen, while the market is growing significantly in rising nations as well.

Even in Japan, the market growth rate is about 3% annually with a total value estimated at around 2.8 trillion yen, and this growth is expected to continue in the future. However, we faced the big challenge to overcome the optimization of medical expense. Particularly, Japan needs to curtail the social security expense due to its coming super aging society.

Saving Patients' Lives with the Power of Technology

As a partner to the frontlines of medicine, and in our capacity to support patients, we have continually worked to achieve "patient-friendly medicine." We are proud of the fact that the medical devices we supply not only improve patients' quality of life (QOL), but also help to curtail medical costs.

The four fields we currently focus on are gastrointestinal endoscopy, vascular IVR, surgical drainage and nutrition management. Among these, over the years we have developed a number of surgical drainage products used to remove blood or pus stuck in the body or gastrointestinal tract, improve wound healing, and restore physiological functions. Additionally, in the field of minimally invasive treatment, which is expected to grow the most going forward, we are focusing on IVR and gastrointestinal endoscopy, among others, that result in smaller surgical wounds whereby reducing the duration of hospital stays.

Working Closely with Physicians to Open the Door to New Possibilities

We deliver technologies essential to the frontlines of treatment and testing that save lives. This is why we never comprise when it comes to quality to ensure peace of mind. In addition, it is important to have a track record in popularizing medical devices. No matter how excellent a medical device may be, it will never receive widespread use if healthcare practitioners do not recognize its benefits and safety.

Close-knit relationships with physicians are essential to building a track record. This requires the ability to communicate and design a product based on the needs of the frontlines and the ideas of physicians.

Various procedures must be completed to bring a medical device to market, including testing and legal applications, which requires both time and cost. Nevertheless, this process is meaningful because it gives birth to the possibility of saving the lives of patients who could not be saved before.

After a medical device is used in the field, physicians often discover new ways of using it or use it for broader applications than initially envisioned. While incorporating these needs and knowledge, we will continue to develop and supply devices tailored to various types of treatment.

Product Lineup for Various Treatments and Tests

Endoscopic devices
Our extensive lineup of endoscopic devices provides powerful support to tests and treatment based on the key words safety, peace of mind, and simplicity.

Endoscopic devices

Circulation/IVR
We supply catheters and devices for carrying out intravascular treatment or surgeries while examining CT, ultrasound or X-ray imaging.

Circulation/IVR

Surgical/Drainage
These products are used during surgery to remove blood or pus stuck in the body or gastrointestinal tract, improve wound healing, and restore physiological functions.

Surgical/Drainage

Nutrition Management
In addition to PEGs (gastrosomy), we also supply PTEG (percutaneous transesophageal gastrostomy kit) for medical cases where it is difficult to create PEGs.

Nutrition Management

SwiftNINJA® Steerable Microcatheter that is more friendly to Pysicians and Patients

Conventionally, it is required high skill to deliver microcatheter for intravascular treatment in the right localized position deep inside a vessel. At the same time, a guidewire had to be used with a microcatheter and then withdrawn whenever administering contrast or medicine, which required time and caused a heavy burden on physician and patient.

SwiftNINJA® is the only microcatheter with an articulating tip that can be steered remotely using the steerling dial. This makes it possible for the physician to guide the microcatheter to a targetted point deep inside a vessel through a complex and undulating path without a guidewire, ensuring highly precise administration of contrast or medicine.

Treatment process

Step 1

Step 1
SwiftNINJA® is inserted from the base of the groin other location

Step 2

Step 2
The articulating tip is navigated through the peripheral vessel

Step 3

Step 3
Can be navigated correctly using steering dial through complex vascular intersections

Step 4

Step 4
The device deliver embolics, medicine or contrast agent after reaching the affected lesion.

Looking to explore new areas and fields to deploy Sumitomo Bakelite's advanced technologies and reliable craftsmanship

Voice of Business Partner

Microcatheters are used to deliver embolics, medications and other agents into the vasculature to occ lude blood flow, target medications directly into tumors as well as other procedures. The global market for microcatheters is growing at 5% annually due to an increased incidence of cancer and the desire for more minimally invasive techniques.

The SwiftNINJA® increases the appeal of these procedures by simplifying them and making them safer. The articulating tip of the SwiftNINJA® Steerable Microcatheter can potentially reduce the need for guidewire insertions and shorten procedures. This will reduce guidewire induced spasms and, in the case of Y90 procedures for liver cancer, decrease radiation exposure which have large benefits to patients, physicians and hospitals.

Working with Sumitomo is very attractive to Merit Medical as the craftsmanship of Sumitomo is very high and brings added credibility to the quality of the product.

In the future we look forward to expanding the SwiftNINJA® product line into additional lengths and sizes. These additional offerings will give us the ability to expand into additional specialties and applications.


Development Team's Trial and Error Leads to Better Product Development

The concept behind this device took shape based on two points. It must be an extremely small diameter microcatheter with a diameter of less than one millimeter and have an articulating tip that can be moved with a wire. Therefore, during development, we focused on how to develop such an extremely narrow catheter, which had never been seen before.

During the initial development, it was hand maded, so we manually fed a wire the same diameter as a human hair through a tube over 1.5 meters long using a microscope and pin set. On some days it took six of us an entire day just to make a single catheter.

Afterwards, we came up with improvements for the process and equipment, which reduced the time it took to insert the wire to several minutes. Through various other innovations, we were finally able to produce devices with consistent quality.

I hope to utilize the technical knowledge gained from the development process of this device to other devices that meet the needs of healthcare practitioners and improve patient QOL.


Increasing Treatment Options and Further Reducing Patient Burden

After launching the device, one physician noted their surprise, "I thought we could make a breakthrough if only there was a catheter with articulating tip, but I never imagined it could really be possible." Another said, "This product embodies Japan's great attention to detail. I look forward to using it."

Conventional vascular treatment took several hours depending on the condition of the patient's vessels and was often quite a burden.

This catheter that can be steered through vessels broadens the options for treatment, reduces surgery or treatment time, and makes it possible to reach locations otherwise impossible before. In this sense, I feel like we were able to make waves in the industry with this device.

Physicians using this device have made requests for a lineup of these microcatheters with several types of diameter and lengths. By expanding the lineup in the future, I hope to provide an effective treatment method for a greater range and more complex cases so as to contribute to the development of medical technology.

sumius is the brand name used for our company's medical products

Your smile is our success.
This phrase embodies our commitment to be the best partner to earn your smile by providing safe, secure and high quality medical devices that support people's health.

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