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The team at iCardiac Technologies Inc. is pumped. The company is in its third profitable year, it has a multimillion-dollar backlog and revenue continues to soar.
The firm, which in May 2006 signed an exclusive license agreement with the University of Rochester Medical Center to commercialize technology to determine cardiac toxicity of drugs, has grown from a handful of staffers to 67 people.
"It's the combination of the strong revalidated technology, close working relationships with the customers and a team that's acutely aware of making sure the customers want a good experience (and) well-done, well-delivered studies, accurate results," CEO Mikael Totterman said of his company's growth. "Especially over the last year and a half or two years, that's really started resonating very well in the marketplace and we've been continuing to grow very, very rapidly."
For fiscal 2013, which ended June 30, iCardiac had a 100 percent increase in revenue over fiscal 2012. The company recently expanded its space on Allen's Creek Road to accommodate growth.
"As we continue to serve more and more customers, the areas that need to be expanded almost in proportion are project management, data management and the core laboratory, which are the people who do the electrocardiogram readings. And in particular, data and project management needed to expand so much we needed to double our space in the last year," said Alexander Zapesochny, president and chief operating officer.
ICardiac's technology aids drug development, making it more efficient, detecting cardiac toxicity of the molecule under study. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires drug makers to test the electrical activity of each subject's heart during every phase of development. That's where iCardiac comes in. The company now works with seven of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies; its client roster has 65 active customers.
"We're very, very excited about the fact that it's a large roster of customers, and the other thing that's really nice about it is it's very geographically diverse, so we have large companies out of North America as well as Europe and Asia," Totterman said. "We work with everything from small biotech companies to some of the very, very large (pharmaceutical) companies."
As pharmaceutical companies seek countries around the world to test their drug candidates, iCardiac also is looking to expand its global capabilities. The local firm expects to increase its work with late-phase clinical studies, which deal with more patients and can mean more revenue.
"Typically a late-phase study will encompass anywhere from dozens to hundreds of sites all over the world, and so we needed to build up over the last several years our capabilities and personnel both in Europe and Asia," Zapesochny said.
ICardiac also hopes to continue to score high on customer surveys, which is key to the company's ability to land more projects.
"For a company that is doubling its revenues year over year, it is important to be able to maintain a focus on high-quality deliverables and great customer service," said Brian Model, managing partner at Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners, an investor in iCardiac. "It's been comforting to see that iCardiac has continued to achieve exceptionally high ratings from their customers."
An important element of iCardiac's future success lies in the need for more cardiac safety studies. Totterman would like to work closely with U.S. regulators and those abroad to obtain cardiac safety studies earlier in the clinical trials process.
Currently, Totterman said, the amount spent on cardiac safety studies is $300 million globally.
"That's expected to grow, and the primary reason for that is right now only one out of every three (electrocardiograms) that are collected in clinical trials are centrally evaluated," he said. "So as the number of ECGs that are centrally evaluated grows, that market size starts moving from around $300 million closer to a $1 billion."
For iCardiac, that trend could mean even more growth.
The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. This year's Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 6. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.
iCardiac Technologies Inc.
Provider of cardiac safety assessment services
2012 ranking: 31
Top executive: Mikael Totterman, CEO
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