Medical-wear maker Vestagen wins deal with Baptist Health

Orlando Sentinel (FL) |

June 26--An Orlando-based biomedical company has secured a multimillion-dollar contract to provide high-tech "germ proof" medical wear to the Baptist Health System of Jacksonville, officials said this week.

Vestagen Technical Textiles Inc.'s new five-year deal is its first contract with an entire hospital system, the company said. It will provide germ-resistant uniforms, surgical scrubs and lab coats to more than 6,000 employees in the Baptist Health system across Northeast Florida.

Vestagen CEO Ben Favret said the deal is a big boost for its microscopically engineered Vestex attire for hospital employees. Until now, the company had sold its products to individual hospitals or clinics, including Florida Hospital's surgical residents and the University of South Florida Health's infectious-disease physicians.

"This large-scale adoption by Baptist Health is not only a major milestone for our company, it is a milestone for U.S. healthcare," Favret said in a prepared statement.

With an initial investment of more than $1 million, Baptist Health said it will be the first hospital organization to adopt Vestagen's microscopically engineered medical wear at all of its locations.

"The newest innovation in health care technology is not the latest surgical device or even a piece of new hospital equipment," Baptist Health Executive Vice President John Wilbanks said in a statement. "Health-care worker apparel becomes the latest high-tech device, turning a uniform into an infection prevention device."

Vestagen's deal with Baptist Health comes about six weeks after the company signed a national retail distribution agreement with Scrubs AC Inc. and its Allheart retail chain.

Buoyed by nearly $16 million in venture capital financing in recent years, Vestagen has been adding jobs and expanding its sales and marketing organization. The company now employs nearly two dozen at its Orlando site on West Colonial Drive. It outsources its manufacturing work to operations in South Carolina, Haiti and Switzerland.

rburnett@tribune.com or 407-420-5256

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