BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Belgrade-based company that makes medical devices has received $25 million from a New York firm that invests in health care and life sciences companies, a major infusion for a company that until six years ago had been funded primarily by grants.
Bacterin International Holdings makes medical devices for bone grafts and certain transplants. CEO Guy Cook tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/Sgu2yz ) that about $10 million of the $25 million received from OrbiMed last month will go to pay off debt.
The rest will go toward hiring salespeople. Cook expects to hire 40 to 45 people in the next year, which he said he believes will allow the company to become profitable.
"That's a big jump. We never in the history of the company ever had that type of firepower available to us. This is a first for the company," Cook said.
The company was started in 1998 and until about 2006 it had been funded by mainly by grants. Since then, several of Bacterin's products have made it through the Federal Drug Administration's vetting process, which can take as long as 10 years, Cook said.
The company has about 200 employees and recorded sales of about $30 million last year, up from $7 million in 2009.
Cook said he believes the cash from OrbiMed, one of the largest health care investment firms in the world, can help Bacterin's sales top $100 million in the next few years.
"Bacterin has made substantial progress with the commercialization of their biologics platform and we look forward to working with Guy and his team," said Matthew Rizzo, a managing director on the Royalty Opportunities team at OrbiMed.
Bacterin's website says the company's devices are used to help fusion and bone growth in spine, foot and ankle surgery, and to promote healing following neurosurgery. The company also produces coatings for medical devices to prevent contamination.
Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com