New product offering non-invasive heart diagnosis will be engineered in the Charleston region

For Immediate Release
August 1, 2001

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – A private, start-up medical diagnostic company has chosen to make its home on the Cainhoy Peninsula in Berkeley County, joining a growing core of high-tech companies springing up in the area.

Vasocor, Inc. is presently beta testing a product that will allow primary care physicians to assess arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) to help determine a person’s potential for suffering peripheral vascular disease, heart attack or stroke. This product is as non-invasive as a blood pressure cuff, performing tests that heretofore have required more expensive and more invasive procedures such as angioplasty.

The company will concentrate in the early stages on engineering and clinical research to obtain FDA approval, which is required prior to sales and marketing of the product.

The company’s location announcement was made today in conjunction with the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, a regional partnership that works to bring high quality business investment to the three-county area. Medical diagnostic companies such as Vasocor are among those being targeted by the Alliance, due in large part to the high quality jobs they bring to the region.

“Vasocor represents tremendous promise for people who may develop heart disease,” said George Tupper, who serves as the volunteer chairman for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. “And this high-tech company also represents tremendous promise for the region. By growing and thriving here, Vasocor will send a strong message to similar companies that investing in the Charleston region is smart business.”

The company anticipates that it will create more than 70 high-wage jobs for the area within five years contingent upon the successful completion of each of its planned milestones. “We chose the Charleston area primarily because we know we can attract and retain the kind of people we want in this community,” said Walter Rosebrough, president and CEO. “A number of our potential employees are already in the community, and those who are not here will be happy to move to a wonderful environment like Charleston. I am very happy to be back myself.”

Rosebrough, who was long-associated with Hill-Rom, a company with a lengthy history in North Charleston, noted that Vasocor considered locating in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, as well as in the Palm Beach, Florida area. “Charleston received the most favorable response from people we want to hire,” he said. He also noted that the presence of the Medical University of South Carolina is of value to the company’s research efforts.

“We are confident that Vasocor will be successful in Berkeley County as it pursues this high-tech promise for people with early signs of heart disease,” said Jim Rozier, Berkeley County supervisor and county council chairman. “We’re proud to know that workers in our county will help millions of people, and that we will continue to grow our high-tech community here. Welcome.”

In its pursuit of new business investment, the Alliance works with numerous organizations. One critical partnership is with the South Carolina Department of Commerce. Vasocor officials noted that the combination of state and local programs were among the most aggressive found in their search, and the responsiveness of the entire project team, on both a tri-county and state level, was exceptional.

“With heart disease as one of the leading causes of death in South Carolina, it is comforting to know that a South Carolina company is creating new ways to lessen its effects,” said Governor Jim Hodges. “Vasocor’s decision to locate in the Charleston area demonstrates that Team South Carolina has scored another win in economic development.”

“Vasocor’s new facility will assist many South Carolinians who want to pursue jobs in high-technology and medicine,” said Secretary of Commerce Charles S. Way, Jr. “We are delighted our workforce will have opportunities in Vasocor’s innovative research and development facility.”

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