Yorkshire healthcare manufacturer, JRI Orthopaedics, has secured a contract to produce hip replacement implants to sell into the Chinese market.
The firm, which is celebrating 45 years in business this year, will build the products in its Sheffield manufacturing facility for a Beijing-based medical company.
A manufacturer of orthopaedic implants and surgical instruments, JRI is also hoping to have its own hip replacement products registered for sale in China early next year and has a distribution deal lined up with its Chinese partner.
Managing director, Keith Jackson commented: “Despite the fact that China leads the world in low-cost manufacturing, our world class manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies have allowed us to defy conventions.
“The Chinese economy is huge and significant investment is being made in health care. Patient expectations are increasing and there is a really good appetite for innovative British brands.
He continued: “Our Chinese partner believes that being able to offer quality British manufactured products at competitive prices will give them a significant advantage, over both other Chinese companies and the US-based multi-nationals currently selling into the hip replacement segment of the rapidly growing orthopaedic implants market in China.”
Initial contacts were made when Jackson was invited on the biggest trade mission from the UK to China in 2013, led by the Prime Minister.
Jackson added: “We are now manufacturing products in Sheffield that were designed in China and will be used to treat Chinese patients.
“The Chinese regulatory approvals for our products are well advanced and we have a great partner company in China to promote the JRI brand in China as soon as we achieve this.”
JRI Orthopaedics, winner of the coveted marquee prize at the 2015 Made In Sheffield Awards, operates from a manufacturing base in Chapeltown.
The company, founded 45 years ago by renowned surgeon Ronald Furlong, became the first in the world to use a hydroxyapatite ceramic (H-A.C) coating on hip replacements. H-A.C is a synthetic version of the natural mineral present in bones and JRI was able to produce an implant that bonds biologically with the patient’s own bone.
Jackson added: “Over 250,000 patients have benefited from this technology giving the recipients the real prospect of a hip for life.
“The company was founded through innovation and this is still hugely important to JRI. We have a very active innovation programme and collaborate with leading centres across Europe on cutting edge research and product development.”
The firm is wholly owned by the charity Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK), and Gift Aids the majority of its profits to ORUK to fund independent research and medical education – £12m over the last 10 years alone.