Contract device manufacturer strikes out on its own

After 16 years of designing and manufacturing medical devices for other companies, Minnetronix is looking to develop some products of its own without alienating its clients.

As the Star-Tribune reports, Minnetronix has made its name and its money working with the likes of Medtronic ($MDT), 3M ($MMM)  and St. Jude Medical ($STJ), and the company wants to keep those relationships intact while pursuing its own intellectual property. "We have no intention of being in competition with our customers," CEO Rich Nazarian told the paper. "We really intend to be complementary to what they do."

Nazarian didn't disclose just what kind of products Minnetronix plans to develop, but he was clear on the company's motivation: to cash in on its innovations. The company has worked on hundreds of products for its clients but doesn't reap the same monetary rewards they do. The trick, Nazarian said, will be to develop in-house products the company can market that work in tandem with its customers' techs, letting Minnetronix pull in profits of its own without sullying its professional relationships.

The company plans to looks for gaps between available devices, finding unmet needs and developing techs to treat them, the Star-Tribune reports. The company will be careful not commercialize technologies based on work it has done or is doing for clients, and it has no plans to compete with its big-time customers, but, beyond that, Minnetronix's future is wide open, Nazarian said. "We want to build a portfolio of devices that are attractive to our customers," he said.

- read the Star-Tribune story