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July 28, 2015

Mayo Clinic-linked NeoChord on 'Hot Devices We Can't Get in US' list

NeoChord, a medical device firm I first wrote about in 2007, made a top 10 list this week on the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry news site.

They posted a "10 Hot Devices We can't Get in the US" list on their Device Talk blog with this set-up text block:

Patients in the United States enjoy some of the best medical care in the world, but many observers worry that the country's regulatory environment is pushing medical innovation to other shores. Whether you believe FDA oversight is too stringent, too lax, or strikes the right balance, there are numerous medical devices that have achieved CE Marking, but aren't yet FDA approved.

NeoChord's DS1000 made the list. It earned a CE Marking in December 2012 but does not have FDA approval.

 

The Eden Prairie-based NeoChord surfaced locally in 2007, when it licensed technology designed byMayo Clinic cardiac surgeons Dr. Richard Daly and Dr. Giovanni Speziali. Speziali was named as the company's chief medical officer in 2013. 

NeoChord-DS1000Beside licensing its technology, Mayo Clinic has also previously invested in NeoChord. 

The NeoChord DS1000 device is used to treat a heart condition called mitral regurgitation. Mitral regurgitation means the valve or leaflet that controls the flow of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle is not working properly.

Treatment typically consists of “cracking the chest,” stopping the heart and doing surgery. NeoChord's approach is much less invasive and can be done on a beating heart.

A tool is inserted between the ribs and into the heart. Then it is used to attach a chord to the faulty valve leaflet, which is tethered to the heart.

The market for less invasive techniques for mitral valve repair has been estimated at more than $2 billion. 

July 23, 2015

Quiet period to end for Celyad (former Cardio3) on July 29

Here's an interesting update from a site called Marketbeat.com about the former Cardio3, now trading in U.S. as Celyad. This Belgium firm has deep ties to Mayo Clinic and will soon occupy an entire floor of the Minnesota Biobusiness Center in downtown Rochester.

 Celyad SA’s  quiet period is set to expire on Wednesday, July 29th. Celyad SA had issued 1,460,000 shares in its initial public offering on June 19th, Market Beat reports.

CelyadThe total size of the offering was $100,097,600 based on an initial share price of $68.56. During Celyad SA’s quiet period, insiders and underwriters involved in the IPO are restricted from issuing any research reports or earnings estimates for the company because of SEC regulations. Following the expiration of the company’s quiet period, it’s expected that the brokerages that served as underwriters on the stock will initiate research coverage on the company.

 

CYAD has been the subject of a number of recent recent research reports. Analysts at Piper Jaffray initiated coverage on shares of Celyad SA in a research note on Tuesday, July 14th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $95.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Celyad SA in a research note on Sunday, June 21st.

Celyad SA remained flat at $60.44 during during mid-day trading trading on Wednesday. 126 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Celyad SA has a one year low of $47.52 and a one year high of $67.94. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $54.65 and its 200-day moving average is $54.65.

 

July 17, 2015

Downtown tower's construction waiting on financing

Construction on a 23-story downtown Rochester tower has yet to begin because the developer has not finalized financing for the project, according to a city official.

In May, the City of Rochester pledged $6.5 million in assistance to developer Gus Chafoulias to build his long-planned $140 million Broadway at Center tower. Chafoulias, with limited assistance from his son Andrew Chafoulias and Titan Development and Investments, has been working on different versions of this project since 2007.

TowerBroadway at Center will house a 264-room Hilton Hotel, 33 apartment units and space for office, retail and restaurant use. More than $14 million — including the city's $6.5 million assistance to the developer and the remainder of infrastructure costs — is planned to be reported as Destination Medical Center local contributions and credited toward the city's $128 million commitment.

The tower is to be built on South Broadway and East Center Street, just north of Broadway Residence and Suites by BridgeStreet. Since early last year, buildings that previously housed CJ's Midtown Lounge, Ginny's Fine Fabrics and Jakobson Management Co. have sat empty on the site. When the tenants were asked to vacate, Titan officials estimated that the buildings would be demolished during the summer of 2014.

When approving the project, the city agreed to work in conjunction with the developers to build an attached public parking ramp. But city officials said they have to wait on final paperwork from Titan Development before construction can start.

"Chafoulias indicated a while back that they are still reviewing some of their financing options for the project, so they have not provided us with that signed development agreement as of yet. I'm anticipating it should be fairly soon," City Redevelopment Director Terry Spaeth said. "I know they are looking at a couple different financing options."

The development agreement includes a number of provisions about vacating an alley, conveying properties and approving easements.

Spaeth said it's estimated it will take 22 months, from start to finish, to build Broadway at Center. The city's portion of the project is expected to take nine to 12 months to complete. The plan is for the city work to be completed to coincide with the opening of the overall project.

"Once they get going, I suspect things will get moving pretty rapidly," he said. "The first step is to get the development assistance agreement signed."

When asked about the status of the Broadway at Center project, Titan Marketing and Communications Manager Sheila Thoma said there wasn't much to report.

"I do not have a new/significant update. The project is still on course. With a major project like this, there are a lot of moving parts and it takes time to solidify all details," she wrote in response to inquiries about when the CJ's and Ginny's Fine Fabrics buildings would be demolished.

On May 4, the city approved a development assistance agreement with Titan about Broadway at Center. The Rochester Economic Development Authority, a board comprised of the seven Rochester City Council members, approved $6.5 million in tax increment financing and land write-downs. The EDA had put its development assistance agreement on hold until the Destination Medical Center Corp. board of directors named Broadway at Center as a DMC project. That happened on April 30.

Broadway at Center is reminiscent of a previous project called Time Square that Gus Chafoulias proposed for that block 15 years ago. When Mayo Clinic opted not to lease office space in the $200 million project, Chafoulias withdrew it in 2000.

"This is the single biggest disappointment of my career," Chafoulias said after making the announcement. "It never feels good when you fail. It didn't work out, but it's not the end of the world."

After Chafoulias withdrew, Dubai-based investors stepped in and built a 26-story tower, the tallest building in Rochester, on that corner. That tower, now known as Broadway Residence and Suites, stands next door to the proposed Broadway at Center project.

 

July 14, 2015

Piper Jaffrey gives Celyad (former Cardio3) stock positive rating

Here's an interesting item that floated into my email box this a.m. about the former Cardio3, now trading in U.S. as Celyad. This Belgium firm has deep ties to Mayo Clinic and will soon occupy an entire floor of the Minnesota Biobusiness Center in downtown Rochester.

By the way, a rating of "overweight" is a good thing. It means the stock is a better value that other stocks in the same sector.

Here's the item as posted by Piper Jaffray:

Piper Jaffray initiates coverage on Celyad SA with a Overweight rating and a price target of $95.00.

Analyst Edward Tenthoff commented, "Celyad is a leading cell therapy company. CelyadCelyad is conducting the Phase III CHART-1 trial of autologous cell therapy C-CURE in heart failure patients with data likely next summer. The company will initiate the CHART-2 trial this year with data in 2017. Celyad recently in-licensed novel CAR-T technology for cancer currently in a Phase I AML and multiple myeloma study. Celyad is listed on the EuroNext exchange in Brussels and Paris, and just completed a U.S. IPO issuing 1.46 million shares at US$68.56 raising gross proceed of US$101 million. CYAD shares have sold off since the IPO providing an attractive entry point at US$54.71, in our view. We are initiating coverage with an Overweight rating and US$95 price target."

Shares of Celyad SA closed at $54.71 yesterday.

 

 

June 23, 2015

Couple give Rochester a double kick with 2nd gym

A Rochester gym is now giving the Med City a double kick with a new second location.

Daniel and Norma Flores opened their second 9Round Gym on June 10 in Suite 104 at 3270 19th St. NW. That's in the 19th Street Business Park.

Photo_4_1382974688_1"This is area is really growing," said Norma Flores of the new gym. "We have a lot of members from Byron, Mantorville and Kasson. This is a good spot for people to stop before or after work."

The fitness franchise offers a 30-minute circuit workout based on boxing and kickboxing training. The workouts involve aerobic, anaerobic and strength training, tailored to each members' ability.

Members can come in at anytime and be guided through the nine workout stations or "rounds," including kettle bells, jump ropes and lots of punching and kicking.

"The workout changes every day and there's always a trainer to help and encourage," she said.

In 2013, the Flores opened their first 9Round Gym in the River Center Plaza. They later moved that original gym to Suite 101 in 2571 Clare Lane NE. That's in the Century Business Plaza.

They now have about 300 members. In addition to the two owners,  9Round has a staff of six trainers.

June 15, 2015

Former Cardio3 launching $99 million IPO in US and worldwide

Celyad, formerly Cardio3 Biosciences, announced the terms for its $99 million stock offering this morning.

The Belgium-based Celyad, which is building a manufacturing facility in downtown Rochester and has close ties with Mayo Clinic, hopes to raise $99 million by offering 1.4 million shares at $70.98 per share.

CelyadWhile Celyad has traded on the European stock markets of NYSE Euronext Brussels and NYSE Euronext Paris for some time, this stock offering would introduce the regenerative medicine firm directly to the U.S. market. It has applied to make the U.S. offering on the Nasdaq stock market under the symbol CYAD.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. It cannot sell or accept offers to buy until the SEC OKs the registration.

This move could benefit Mayo Clinic, which owned 2.69 percent of Celyad as of March 3. Mayo Clinic first acquired equity in Cardio3 in 2007, when it licensed stem-cell research by Mayo Clinic's Dr. Andre Terzic and Dr. Atta Behfar. Its cardiopoiesis technology repairs patients' hearts by re-programming their own stem cells to regenerate cardiac tissue.

Earlier this year, the Rochester City Council recently approved a lease for Celyad to take over the entire fifth floor of Rochester's Minnesota BioBusiness Center. Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development also are involved in the deal.

Celyad is building a prototype manufacturing facility in the 14,963-square-feet of space on the fifth floor of the downtown building. Mayo, which leases the fourth through eighth floors, moved its employees out of the fifth floor earlier this year. The five-year lease calls for it to pay a rent of $18 per square foot, or $22,444.50, per month. The city agreed in the lease to pay for $600,000 in equipment and improvements to the space.

DEED is offering Ceylad a $357,000 Minnesota Job Creation Fund award if it invests $1.5 million in Rochester within a year and hires 33 employees within two years. The average wages of the new jobs will be $21.52 per hour.

May 28, 2015

Mayo hires consultant to map out Discovery Square

To help fire up Discovery Square as "a catalyst" to create jobs in downtown Rochester, Mayo Clinic has contracted a feasibility study, independent of the Destination Medical Center Corp.

Mayo Clinic has hired the DMC development manager, Hammes Co. of Madison, Wis., to analyze the Discovery Square piece of the DMC vision and offer a market plan of how DiscoverySquarethe medical and technology research area might be developed. Mayo is paying Hammes $1.5 million to conduct the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

One expected tenant is Epic, a Madison-based software system that recently signed a contract to help build an electronic health record system for Mayo Clinic. It's planning on having many employees based in Rochester.

"They've indicated a strong interest in the Discovery Square concept, and we're exploring ways they may participate in that," said Bolton.

Discovery Square is described as "the focal point" for Mayo Clinic's expansion of its science and technology institutes, and it's designed as a place for private companies and others to work with Mayo on research and other projects. It's marked on the DMC map as being central to the Gonda Building and the Mayo Medical School.

"The Square is designed to be playful and artful, similar to the Google Commons in order to, quite simply, attract the best and the brightest, the most creative minds in the world," according to the DMC plan.

Mayo Clinic owns about 35 percent of the property within the proposed Discovery Square area.

The goal of the new study is to map out the area more specifically and identify potential partners and funding streams to make it sustainable.

Jeff Bolton, Mayo's chief administrative officer and the chair of DMC's Economic Development Agency, said Mayo funded the study because it's not part of the DMC EDA's scope.

"The EDA budget is really to provide staffing to support the DMCC board, to work with developers and help market the DMC concept," he said. "Mayo Clinic views this as area where we could serve as an important catalyst to advance the DMC vision. That's why we stepped up and are making this investment."

Mayo Clinic's relationship with Hammes dates back to the very early days of the DMC concept in 2008 before it became public. Mayo Clinic first officially contracted with the company about DMC in 2011. When the EDA signed its own contract with Hammes last year for $2.3 million a year, it had no ongoing Mayo contracts.

Bob Dunn, president of Hammes, explained that this study will be similar to his company's work on the overall DMC plan but will be much more detailed.

This study will include a master plan, a conceptual design, preliminary engineering, financial analysis, financing plan, a market analysis, a review of effective land use and operational aspects for Discovery Square.

"This will be a block-by-block plan," he said. "But we're not starting at ground zero. Mayo, which owns a good portion of the land in Discovery Square, has already thought a lot about this development."

Meanwhile, Mayo is actively working with companies to try to get them to locate there, Bolton said.

"We're out marketing the concept," said Mayo's Bolton. "Obviously, we have an interest in terms of attracting groups to collaborate with us."

The project's success likely will be driven by what partners want to work with Mayo Clinic.

"If I were to forecast, I'd say there will be multiple of owners of facilities in Discovery Square. Many will probably be owned by private developers," predicted Bolton. "There won't be a monolithic owner of the facilities. The free market will play out in this environment."

He added that Mayo Clinic may participate "directly or indirectly" in some of the development.

The multimillion dollar question is when actual development of this new job generator area will begin.

"We'll need a critical mass of corporate engagement in order to have a developer to put that first shovel in the ground," said Bolton.

Dunn said this is a fascinating feature of what is already a unique project.

"DMC and Discovery Square, to me, is one of the most interesting things that I can think of nationally in terms of major economic development," he said. "It's unique because impact Mayo Clinic can bring to something like this in a market that's now beginning to mature and evolve very quickly."

May 05, 2015

Tech security chief leaves Mayo Clinic for new job

Mayo Clinic's chief information security officer is leaving Rochester to join a Colorado technology firm.

3a01a19James Carder made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday saying, "It's with mixed emotions to announce that I have officially left Mayo Clinic and taken a new role as CISO (chief information security officer) @LogRhythm & VP of @LogRhythmLabs."

Carder was Mayo's technology security chief from June 2013 until this week. Described as "a frequent speaker at industry events and noted author of several security publications," Carder managed the security of the 250,000 to 300,000 devices connected to Mayo Clinic's network, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While at Mayo Clinic, the Wall Street Journal said he also created "an incident response infrastructure" and as well as Mayo Clinic’s first cyber threat intelligence organization.

At LogRhythm, Carder will serve as the chief information security officer and vice president of LogRhythm Labs. The Boulder, Colo.-based firm stated in the announcement of the hiring that Carder will set "the vision for and direct the company’s global information security program." He will manage 12 employees.

Carder told the Wall Street Journal that his primary reason for the move is "speed."

“The main difference is that things you do have a ripple effect quickly,” he explained to the WSJ.

April 30, 2015

Lisa Clarke to officially become leader of DMC's EDA

More than a year after starting a national search for an executive director to lead the Destination Medical Center's Economic Development Agency, Mayo Clinic's Lisa Clarke has been hired to fill that role.

As DMC's board secretary and Mayo Clinic's Community Engagement head, Clarke has filled the interim role of leading the EDA from the organization's start.

The DMC group originally posted advertisements for the position in February 2014, in hopes of hiring someone by April of that year. This hiring is solely the responsibility of the EDA and doesn't involve the DMC Corp. board or the Rochester City Council.

Clarke previously described her role as the first executive director of the EDA as building the organization and creating the processes as well as getting approval of the DMC master plan. The next director has a different job ahead of them.

"The first full time executive director's role will be to execute the plan," she said. "The important thing is to get someone who has the experience in economic development and in development, in general. The most important thing is to get the right person with the right skill set."

While Lisa Clarke will step into the role of EDA director, she will remain connected to Mayo Clinic.

"The technical answer is that she's 100 percent an employee of the EDA," said Jeff Bolton, Mayo Clinic's Chief Administrative Officer and chair of the EDA . "However, we did not want her to lose the benefit of being a Mayo employee."

Bolton explained that all of the personnel costs related to Clarke will be covered by Mayo Clinic from that $585,000 annual contribution to the EDA.

"I'm part of the package," said Clarke with a grin.

When asked about Mayo Clinic's relationship with the EDA, Bolton said, "The EDA is a separate legal entity. It is separate from Mayo."

Clarke plans to set up an office for the EDA staff in the roughly 6,000-square-foot former Red Lobster space at 195 S. Broadway.

The space is on the street level of the 60-year-old Rosa Parks Pavilion building. Mayo bought the building for $2.37 million in 1997, and Red Lobster leased space there from 1987 until it closed in 2011 and opened in a new building by Apache Mall.

With the hiring of Clarke and the EDA moving into Mayo Clinic office, is Mayo Clinic concerned about the possible appearance that it is controlling the EDA?

"I do think the EDA an independent agency is the right approach, the right structure. This is a many part orchestra, if you will. I do see Mayo having one voice in this with the city, county  and the state," Bolton said. "I think there's a good separation without making it independent of the entire process. Everything is really tightly connected, really tightly coordinated."

Clarke echoed Bolton's sentiments about the relationship between Mayo and the EDA.

"It truly has been a very positive thing to have all of these players around the table to represent the diversity of the community and its diverse businesses with Mayo Clinic being the largest," she said.

Lisa Smith, the lieutenant governor of Minnesota and chair of the DMCCorp. board of directors said that Mayo's role is important to the big picture.

"From the perspective of the state, it's great to have a really, really strong anchored tenant in the private sector. We've got four strong partners with very specific ideas about moving this forward," she said. "There are a lot of strong opinions around the table. I think it works very well."

April 24, 2015

Shorewood senior complex to add health, wellness center

A senior living complex in southwest Rochester is adding a more than $2 million health and wellness center to its complex.
Shorewood
Construction started this week at Shorewood Senior Campus, at 2115 Second St. SW, on the more than 11,000-square-foot center, which will include a warm-water pool, exercise areas and therapy rooms. It's being added on the south side of the complex, near the main entrance.

Campus Director Eric Huntoon estimates the new addition should be completed by late September or October.
 
"We're going to try to incorporate some interdisciplinary type therapies, like acupuncture, massage therapy, podiatry, physical therapy and things of that nature," he said. "This is an opportunity to provide an additional outlet for our residents."

Huntoon said it also could help Shorewood residents prevent falls, since pool therapy helps improve balance, strength and range of motion.

The new center also will include a very specialized therapy pool called Hydroworx, which includes a platform treadmill that lowers into the water. Many professional athletes use it to recover from knee injuries. Shorewood plans to reach out to area high schools about possibly allowing high school athletes to use it.

Shorewood, which is managed by Minneapolis-based Silvercrest, has 229 apartments — 155 for senior living, 61 for assisted living and 13 for memory care.

Huntoon acknowledged the senior-housing market is becoming much more competitive in Rochester with the recent openings of Waters on Mayowood and River Bend Assisted Living. However, Shorewood has been full to capacity for the past 18 months and has a waiting list.

"With so many people turning 65 in the U.S., demand is certainly going to be outpacing the supply," he said.