Jeffrey Rovell & Associates, Inc.
Biogel Powderless Glove

Jeff says: This breakthrough product was the first powderless latex glove sold in the United States. I helped create the U.S. business from scratch — and today 35% of the latex gloves sold in the U.S. are Biogel gloves.

How It Started

In 1982, all latex gloves contained talcum powder, a by-product of the manufacturing process, and this powder caused allergic reactions and potential adhesions in patients. One day two gentlemen, Howard Podell and Howard Miller, came in to my office with a patent in hand for an innovative idea for a powderless glove. "We have a powderless glove that works," they said — but they had no actual gloves, only the patent!

Pfizer Hospital Products Group, where I was Vice President of Corporate Licensing and Product Development, wasn't interested in the glove business because it was low-margin, highly competitive, and dominated by only a few major players. Pfizer did not believe very deeply in the unique selling premise of the powderless glove.

Pfizer's indifference was further reinforced by their previous experience with another powderless glove, the Aparticulate glove, which they had investigated during their acquisition of Deknatel. The glove had proven to be too costly and complicated to manufacture, and thiis, combined with the difficulties of the glove marketplace, had discouraged Pfizer from pursuing the Howards's powderless glove. In my case, it had made me something of an expert about powderless gloves and I was very aware of the benefits of such a product. Pfizer turned the Howards away, and eventually they went to London International Group and arranged a license to manufacture and distribute the gloves in the U.K. and Europe.

Building a U.S. Business

Almost five years later, the Howards contacted me about starting a U.S. business. They wanted to purchase their own manufacturing site and create their own marketing and sales organization — but needed help to get started. I felt, however, that the better opportunity was to license the manufacturing and distribution to the original company, and concentrate on setting up a marketing and sales organization to promote the product in the U.S.A.

I facilitated a licensing arrangement for the U.S. with the London International Group (now known as SSI America) which manufactured the gloves in the U.K. I was part of a team of design, marketing, and clinical experts charged with developing a strategy for introducing the glove into the U.S. market. We developed the packaging and the brand identity and began business development activities by arranging hospital seminars and attending conventions.. With my help, we put together a top-notch package which demonstrated the value of powderless gloves, featuring both the non-allergenic nature of the glove and the potential reduction of surgical adhesions it offered. In less than a year, the Howards went from having no presence in the U.S. at all to having offices, a marketing staff, and a U.S.-targeted brand name and package. In 1988, we sold our first powderless glove product to Henry Schein as the Biogel Powderless Dental Glove.


After that crucial start their glove business in the U.S. took off -- and today Biogel Powderless Gloves makes up 60% of the powderless glove market, and 35% of the total glove market. Biogel gloves have sales in excess of $60 million worldwide.