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Medical device firm planning facility on MinnWest campus in Willmar, Minn.

WILLMAR -- Tenex Health Inc., the developer of a medical device for removing diseased tissue from tendons, will open a production facility at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.

The California-based company made the announcement Wednesday.

The addition of Tenex Health marks the technology campus' entry into Minnesota's flourishing medical device industry.

Jim Sieben, president of MinnWest Technology Campus, said campus officials had been working to put together the necessary incentives to bring Tenex Health to the area.

"They are an important step in our effort to draw biotechnology companies to this area," he said.

"We are very excited to see what this will bring to the campus and our community."

Jagi Gill, chief executive of Tenex Health, said the assets of the technology campus, along with the local workforce potential, were among key factors in the company's decision to locate a manufacturing plant in Willmar.

"The leadership at the MinnWest Technology Campus has compiled a strong group of companies which share a common mission of producing high-quality products in a scalable and cost-effective manner while utilizing cutting-edge technology," Gill said in a prepared statement. "This skill set and talent pool provided compelling reasons for us to expand our production to the campus."

Tenex Health plans to produce its TX1 tissue removal system at the 100-acre technology campus on the north edge of Willmar.

Based on technology developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the TX1 system uses guided ultrasound to break up and remove diseased or scarred tendon tissue and related musculoskeletal tissue in the elbow, knee, ankle, foot or shoulder.

The procedure is known as FAST, or focused aspiration of soft tissue. It's minimally invasive and can be done under a local anesthetic, allowing the patient to recover and return to normal activities more quickly. Current treatment options for tendon-related injuries and pain have been rest, ice, medication, physical therapy or surgical repair.

Tenex Health received premarket clearance for the device this past March from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission spent months working with Tenex Health and technology campus officials to develop an incentive package to bring Tenex Health to town.

"This was a more unique project than some others. It truly was treading in new territory for us," said Jean Spaulding, assistant director of the Economic Development Commission.

Officials hope once Tenex Health is established on the technology campus, other medical device manufacturers will follow.

"There does become a domino effect. Success follows success," Spaulding said. "We're planning for it to be the case and we're working for it to be the case."

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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