Pittsburgh-based medical device company CardiacAssist Inc. has changed its name to TandemLife to better reflect its future, and it has plans to nearly double the size of the company in 18 months.
Privately held CardiacAssist began life 1996 and in 2001 rolled out its first product, TandemHeart, which provides people who need it with cardiac support. But product additions at the RIDC-based company led to the name change. It has launched several other FDA-approved products, including ProtekSolo cannula and ProtekDuo veno-venous extracorporeal life support system and, just this year, the TandemLung oxygenator that goes beyond cardiac support to lung support.
So the name TandemLife better reflects not only the company’s recent moves but also its future. CardiacAssist is one of the 25 largest life sciences and biotech firms in the Pittsburgh region, according to the 2015-16 Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists.
“The name CardiacAssist does not fully cover what we do anymore,” said COO Travis Deschamps. “So we needed a name that represented our ability to provide products for cardiac support and respiratory support. It was a natural transition to go with the TandemLife brand.”
Deschamps said the company did the initial steps toward rebranding, including the name change, internally. It later worked with Pittsburgh-based agency C-leveled on the logos and other branding.
It’s been a pretty busy couple of years for CardiacAssist. The initial TandemHeart product got an FDA clearance to be used with oxygenator in 2011. The Protek product line launched in 2014 has grown in a short time to about half of the company’s revenue. And just earlier this month, it received FDA clearance to commercialize the TandemLung oxygenator, which Deschamps said has potential to be a huge contributor to revenue.
“As CardiacAssist we created a new level of cardiac care with the launch of TandemHeart. As TandemLife we are building on this foundation by extending new technologies to respiratory and cardiopulmonary care,” said John Marous, who is TandemLife’s president, chief executive and chairman. “We have a strong and deep product development pipeline and a talented team ready to bring new innovations to market, with the highly focused goal of continually improving outcomes, automating provider experiences, and reducing total systemic costs.”
Additional products, which the company declined to detail for competitive reasons, are planned to be launched this year and next year.
“We’ve had a hard time finding enough qualified medical device production people to really ramp up our production and keep up with even the early demand for some of these products,” he said. “We’re anticipating a pretty significant expansion over the next six to 18 months.”
There are about 49 employees at TandemLife right now, and Deschamps said there are five positions open at the company immediately and he anticipated the company to double by the end of next year. Expansion at RIDC, where the production is done, and elsewhere, is possible.
Deschamps praised the quality of the TandemLife workforce, which includes people who have been with CardiacAssist since the beginning and a group of people who arrived from Medrad.
“I’ve never seen a group that’s been able to go from an idea to putting a commercial product into the hands of physicians, and getting it on patients, and helping patients faster than this company,” Deschamps said. “I think that’s because of the people.”
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