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Success Stories

Stereotaxis

Stereotaxis
Company headquarters: St. Louis
Incubator: Center for Emerging Technologies
Entered incubator: 1998
Graduated: December 2005 (Scheduled)
Employees: 140
Revenue: $18.8 million (FY 2004)
NASDAQ: STXS

2004 wasn’t exactly a banner year for Initial Public Offerings, but don’t tell that to the leaders of Stereotaxis, a medical device company in St. Louis. In August 2004, the client of the Center for Emerging Technologies went public.

Stereotaxis has developed a system that allows surgeons to more effectively guide cardiac catheters, guidewires and stents through blood vessels and the heart using computer-controlled, externally applied magnetic fields. This process has proven attractive to cardiac catheterization labs throughout the United States and Europe because it requires less-invasive (and less-costly) surgery.

Stereotaxis has placed 30 systems worldwide, and company officials expect sales to increase as its reputation, name recognition and success stories grow. The company already has partnered with several major companies in the cardiac catheterization market, including Siemens Medical Solutions, Philips SA, and Biosense Webster Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

These initial successes — while the company is still an incubator client — have served it well. Despite a tough economy, Stereotaxis’ IPO raised $44 million by selling 5.5 million shares of common stock at $8 a share, and the company’s stock reached $12.67 per share in September 2004.

Bill Simon, CET vice president and chief operating officer, says Stereotaxis’ ability to go public in a struggling economy is a testament to the strength of the company’s management team and its medical devices. "Stereotaxis had a very strong, very real IPO," he says. "If they had gone public a few years earlier [during the dot-com era], their initial stock prices would have been much higher. Even so, their stock prices are 25 percent higher now than when they had their IPO."

Although Stereotaxis’ management team includes several experienced fund-raisers (the company has raised more than $200 million during its lifetime), CET has played an important role in helping the company grow in other ways. "They’re very good at raising money, so we didn’t want to get in their way there," Simon says. "But we have helped take their expansion headaches away. We offer them a secure data network and a flexible phone system that can grow with them."

When Stereotaxis first entered the incubator in 1998, the company occupied 3,000 square feet of space. Today, Stereotaxis has offices on each floor of CET’s two buildings (five floors total), totaling 29,000 square feet of space. The company is scheduled to move out of the incubator and into a new biotechnology facility currently under development in St. Louis in December.

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