Bonamici, Schrader visit biotech trenches, glimpse expandable sponges

U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader paid a visit to Wilsonville on Monday to learn how one medical device maker saves lives on the battlefield with an innovative sponge technology.

The two Oregon Democrats stopped in at the headquarters of RevMedx, Inc. The company received FDA approval last spring for its XStat device, a syringe that shoots tiny sponges into the body to plug deep wounds.

Bonamici urged company officials to let her know where they encounters obstacles, whether in obtaining FDA approvals, protecting their patents or navigating the defense contracting process.

Andrew Barofsky, RevMedx’s president and CEO, said the company’s 18-month process to win FDA approval could have been faster.

“I do think there are opportunities to make things go quicker,” Barofsky said. “The best way to do that is through a well-funded FDA.”

Dennis McNannay, executive director of the Oregon Bioscience Association, brought up the medical device tax, which might soon be overturned in Congress (see this story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal).

“To the extent it could be modified or repealed or not be so impactful for young, small companies trying to get off the ground, we should take a look at that,” McNanny said.

Barofsky noted that the tax supports a health care system that his products don’t go into, since they are used by the U.S. military.

Schrader applauded RevMedX and companies like it: “It puts us on the map in a positive way.” He also said relations have improved between the two sides of the aisle in Washington.

“We seem to be playing better in the sandbox,” he said.


Elizabeth Hayes
Portland Business Journal
Jul 7, 2015


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