Local philanthropist and entrepreneur Dr. Kiran Patel has invested $60 million dollars in a medical device company that plans to relocate its headquarters to Tampa.
Concept Medical Inc. (CMI) developed a balloon used to open blocked coronary arteries during angioplasty. CMI’s device is coated in Sirolimus, a substance that can prevent arteries from re-narrowing after surgery. It can also reduce the need for patients to take blood thinners.
The tool could be particularly beneficial for diabetic patients, who have a higher risk of complications during angioplasty than others.
In a press release, Dr. Patel, a cardiologist himself, said the company’s “research and innovative technologies will meet a major unmet need in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”
"Cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 cause of death globally, representing 31 percent of all global deaths, and it is increasing due to changes in lifestyle and the increase in hypertension amongst the young and old," he said. "This venture enables me to contribute to the millions of hearts beating around the world."
The device is already sold in Europe and parts of Asia. Patel's investment will help fund clinical trials in the United States, which can be a particularly expensive undertaking.
Reporter Ashley Gurbal Kritzer says it’s still too soon to know exactly how many jobs will be created when the Miami-based company moves its headquarters to Tampa.
"But any time you have a high-profile medical technology company moving to a new area, the impact can't be overstated because that's the sort of thing that brings more talent to the area,” she said. “In this case we're talking about scientists and researchers, so these are very high-paying, white-collar jobs."
Kritzer says Concept Medical plans to move into an office building Patel owns in Tampa’s Westshore business district. Clinical trials for the device could be held nationwide.
CMI has a manufacturing subsidiary in India where all its products are made.