- January 2, 2015
Tampa has been chosen as the location for a recently launched biotech company that specializes in highly advanced treatments for conditions such as blood clots, tuberculosis and respiratory problems brought on by climate change.
NuMedTechs, according to a news release, will base key executives and researchers at Quest Workspaces in Tampa’s Rivergate Tower. It plans to expand into standalone space within a year or two, as it adds staff and continues to invest in research and development, software and equipment.
The firm, the result of a merger with Canadian biotech company Pulmo Science Inc., is backed by The Econophy Group LLL, a private equity firm whose founder and CEO, M. Damian Billy, is based in Naples. Billy tells Coffee Talk he originally wanted to base NuMedTechs in Naples or Palm Beach. But he was swayed by the robust presence of other pharma, biotech and life-sciences companies in the Tampa Bay region.
“Depending on how we evolve,” he says, “we could have a diagnostic laboratory or even a full treatment center.”
NuMedTechs, as its name implies, will leverage so-called “nuclear medicine” to detect and diagnose abnormalities such as tumors, infections, hematomas, organ enlargement and cysts. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it uses “small amounts of radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, to examine organ function and structure.”
Nuclear medicine, Billy says, can drastically shorten the diagnostic process for pulmonary conditions ranging from asthma and blood clots to lung cancer.
“In the U.S., it can take two years, maybe longer, to gain perspective with respect to [patients'] status and condition,” he says, “because sometimes they’re denied effective treatment. We can get it done within two months.”
Another area the company plans to focus on is the rising number of health issues related to increased levels of particulate matter (PM) in the air we breathe. Climate change, accompanied by air pollution, contributes to more PM, which in turn leads to more occurrences of cardiovascular problems. PM is a major public health issue in India, where tuberculosis (TB) is on the rise — at least a quarter of the world’s TB cases occur in that country, Billy says.
“It’s a huge market, from children to adults,” he says. “The Indian government expects by the year 2027 or 2030, that they will have to require oxygen masks for people living in Delhi.”