OCT developer Volcano to expand Axsun facility into East Coast HQ

JUNE 15, 2009--According to the regional business technology publication Mass High Tech, medical imaging company Volcano Corp. (San Diego, CA) will expand research and manufacturing in Massachusetts and make the state its East Coast headquarters. In 2008, Volcano, which is targeting the cardiac imaging market, acquired two Massachusetts-based companies: In December it purchased Axsun Inc. (Billerica, MA), maker of medical lasers and optical engines for optical coherence tomography (OCT). Just a few months earlier, it acquired Novelis Inc., maker of ultrasonic visualization technology. Volcano's marketing VP Joe Burnett told Mass High Tech that since the Axsun buyout, Volcano has been evaluating both firms and seeing how they fit in with the company's overall evolution--and now, he said, "We've decided to make Billerica a focus of our East Coast efforts,"--noting that the move includes hiring more engineers with medical device experience into the Axsun group.

"The fact of the matter is, our systems are so complex, involving business consoles, software development, hardware, cabling and interfaces with X-ray machines, the type of engineering required is diverse," Burnett told Mass High Tech. "We've found few places like Boston to serve that entire package." The article reports that Volcano will expand the engineering facility to include open lab space, and allow work for a wide array of new technologies, including lasers, micro-machined manufacturing systems and other research tools. The company will also keep Axsun's two core telecommunications units operating, as well, said Burnett.

Additionally, using the Axsun technology, Volcano hopes to branch out to treat eye ailments and diagnose cancer, potentially noninvasively, the article reports. There are also potential dental applications for identifying cavities. However, these aren't necessarily within Volcano's core competencies, and the company may partner with companies that are already established in these fields, said Burnett.

For more information see the article in Mass High Tech.

Posted by Barbara G. Goode, barbarag@pennwell.com, for BioOptics World.

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