Chattanooga investors figure in plans for Atlanta medical firm

Chattanooga investors figure in plans for Atlanta medical firm

October 1st, 2011 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

An Atlanta medical device developer is getting a dose of new capital from Chattanooga where the research and development company will soon put down new roots.

Atlanta Catheter Therapies Inc. has raised nearly $3 million in new equity, including $2.3 million from a consortium of Chattanooga investors. The cash and equity investment will help the company bring to market a new type of intravascular agent delivery device which could someday replace stents used to open blocked heart arteries.

"These a very small catheters that go into your blood system and our agent delivery device is very innovative and we think is really cutting edge technology," ACT President Paul J. Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick, a 24-year veteran of medical business startups, said Friday the new funding for ACT "will accelerate progress" of the company's first product known as the occlusion perfusion catheter, or OPC. The company also is pursing at least a half dozen other technologies in the pipeline.

In spite of the name of Atlanta Catheter Therapies, the company plans to soon relocate into the former Medium offices at 50 E. Main St. on Chattanooga's Southside.

"Chattanooga has been extraordinarily receptive to our business and working with the investors in Chattanooga and others like Dr. David Adiar (chairman of Glenveigh Medical Co.), we hope we can develop a medical device business cluster in Chattanooga," Fitzpatrick said.

ACT was started in Atlanta by the Medical Device Development Group in 2008 by Dr. Rex Teeslink, an interventional radiologist and Dirk Hoys, a medical device engineer. The early-stage research and development company works to develop new catheter-based technologies that target vascular disease and restenosis.

The company plans to focus on R&D of new catheter inventions and devices and license those patented products to other medical device suppliers to make and sell.

ACT is the first Chattanooga project to receive funding from the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, a for-profit angel capital fund started and funded by Chattanooga business leaders. The Maclellan Foundation and its affiliates also made an equity investment and InnovateHere will provide a forgiveable loan for ACT if the firm stays and grows in Chattanooga's Southside.

"It's a very innovative device that could change the way you treat restenosis," said David Belitz, chief financial officer for the Lupton Co. and a general partner in the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund.

Although the company will have only a handful of employees, Belitz said ACT could help spur development of more medical device business in Chattanooga.