Feature

Magic Touch

Concept Medical has created a niche for itself with its innovative drug-coated stent and balloon catheter for diabetic heart patients

Soumik Kar

Seated in his office in an unassuming residential locality of Surat, Manish Doshi is a picture of determination and resilience. His firm belief in the power and necessity of innovation is formidable. While he attributes his entrepreneurial and risk-taking tendencies to his ‘Gujarati DNA’, what sets his companies, Concept Medical and Envision Scientific, apart from other Gujarati-run enterprises, is their strong R&D backing.

His companies’ motto is ‘Advancing Innovation’ and have developed an innovative drug-coated stent and balloon catheter, with around 30 international patents to their credit. That is indeed a big number by Indian innovation standards. What makes this all the more remarkable is that Doshi has no medical background; he is a textile engineer by training. The development process was long and arduous, taking Doshi and his team seven years and $10 million to develop a marketable product. Doshi had learnt the importance of intellectual property rights the hard way, after he was sued for €25 million by Boston Scientific in the 2000s due to his previous stint at Sahajanand Medical Technologies. He lost the case, but had to shell out only €1,400 since his product was still in the clinical trial phase and was prohibited from commercialising it in Europe. Today, his products have received regulatory approval in Europe. Next, he has his sights set on USA, known for its rigorous FDA processes and also the biggest stent market in the world, with 2.5-3 million stents used every year.

According to Doshi, around seven to eight million drug-eluting (releasing) stents are used during angioplasties the world over every year, valued at around $8 billion. Of the total, 0.45 million are used in India, a number which has grown from 15,000 in 1998, when Doshi first entered the stent market. The global CAGR for stents is a moderate 5%. But what do stents, these nondescript metal tubes, exactly do?

Matters of the heart
Stents, which are metal or plastic mesh tube-like structures, are mainly used during angioplasties. This is how the process pans out. After patients

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