TAMPA — Cardiologist and entrepreneur Dr. Kiran Patel has invested $60 million in a medical device company whose headquarters will move from Miami to Tampa.
The investment in Concept Medical Inc. will pay for clinical studies on cardiac devices coated with a substance that reduces the risk of heart blockages and the length of time a patient needs to take blood thinners.
"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," Patel said in a release. "This venture enables me to contribute to the millions of hearts beating around the world."
Concept Medical and its manufacturing subsidiary in India have developed new technologies in which stents and balloons used to open blocked coronary arteries are coated with Sirolimus, a substance that reduces the risk of rejection.
With conventional stent or balloon treatments, the risk of restenosis — renarrowing of the arteries — "is 8 to 10 percent," Patel said in a phone interview. "Ours can bring it down to 3 percent. We will also be able to decrease the need to take blood thinners."
Concept Medical already sells the Sirolimus-coated devices in Europe and parts of Asia but they cannot be sold in the United States without costly testing required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The $60 million "will be primarily to ensure we can get the FDA approvals and further studies in Europe to establish the requirements," Patel said.
The Indian subsidiary will continue to produce the devices, but Concept Medical’s headquarters and about five employees will move to Tampa, where Patel lives. The most significant employment gains, though, will be from the clinical studies to assess the safety and effectiveness of the devices, Patel said.
"The places where we will be executing the animal studies (and) the human studies will be at renowned institutions throughout the country," he said. "They are just launching."
Patel helped transform a struggling New York health maintenance organization and merged it with a Florida HMO to form WellCare Management Group, which he sold in 2002 for a reported $200 million. Until recently, he was chairman and president of Tampa-based Freedom Health and Optimum Healthcare, which he also sold. Patel is also among the investors in the Tampa Bay Times.
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susankate