Yulex Expands Beyond Surgical Gloves

The latest issue of Fast Company has a profile of Yulex Corporation, a Carlsbad, CA, company known for making latex products that are safe for people with tropical latex allergies. Since being founded in 1997, the company’s bread and butter has been surgical gloves and condoms. But, the firm is now using its version of latex, dervied from a native Southwestern plant called guayule, to broaden its medical-product portfolio. With guayle production in high gear, Yulex plans to start making catheters and angioplasty balloons. “In this market,” says Fast Company,”guayule’s nonallergenic qualities merit a premium over Hevea [the tropical rubber used in regular latex], while its greater elasticity and lower resistance make it a better choice than similarly priced synthetics.” Yulex’s R&D team also is using its proprietary latex to develop adhesives. CEO Jeff Martin tells the magazine, “Our model is not to replace Hevea. It’s to capture the share carved out by synthetics.”   

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