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San Antonio biotech company taking its germ-zapping robots to Japan Jan
January 6, 2017

Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex Disinfection Services LLC, said the company has seen a spike in international demand for its germ-zapping robots. File Photo / SABJ

By W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

Xenex Disinfection Services LLC has forged a new business relationship with a Japanese company that is likely a precursor to more widespread international commercialization of its LightStrike device over the next several months. The San Antonio biotech company has entered into a deal with Tokyo-based Terumo Corp., a global manufacturer and distributor of medical devices, to exclusively market its germ-zapping robots in Japan.

The robots are used by medical facilities to help eradicate pathogens that can cause lethal health care-associated infections. Xenex CEO Morris Miller said the distribution deal is key to a larger globalization strategy for the Alamo City company's ultraviolet room-disinfection technology.

"Now that we have built out our North American sales force, we plan to expand our international opportunities in 2017," Miller said.

The deal with Terumo is especially important because it provides a critical entry point to a major international market.

"Many people may not know that Japan is the second-largest medical market in the world," Miller said. "Terumo is the largest medical distribution company in Japan."

The spread of hospital-acquired infections, or HAIs, caused by pathogens such as C.diff and MRSA has created international concern - and heightened demand for technology such as the LightStrike robots.

Xenex has generated significant revenue in the U.S. and in several other countries through the sale of its robots, which destroy the deadly microorganisms before they can pose a threat to patients and health care workers.

Miller said the LightStrike device has also proven to be effective against the Ebola virus and Anthrax, and can easily be incorporated into a facility's disease containment and biodefense strategy. In October, he told me the company expected to generate more than $30 million in revenue in 2016 through expanded sales of its robots. That's a 50 percent increase over its 2015 revenue.

"We want to get our robots into hospitals around the world as quickly as possible by working with the best partners in other countries," Miller said. "We are carefully evaluating potential global partners to ensure that they share our passion, and we have found that in Terumo."

Tsuyoshi Tomita, a division president for Terumo Corp.'s General Hospital Co., said the Japanese company decided to partner with Xenex after careful analysis of the room-disinfection industry and a thorough evaluation of the different technologies being used to combat HAIs.


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