Tripling space, could see sales hit $6 million

Cagenix founder Carl Shulter and CEO Daryl Newman with dental implant products manufactured by the firm. The business is expanding into new offices to meet growth needs.

Cagenix, a manufacturer of components for dental implants, is expanding into 6,000 square feet in Century Center and could add up to 18 employees with the move.

Cagenix was founded in 2005 by Carl Schulter, a prosthodontist, who has patented more than 17 dental products. Schulter formed the company around the AccuFrame, a product that steadies dental implants with an anodized titanium bar. The bar allows patients to have a product that’s almost as durable as their natural teeth.

Company CEO Daryl Newman says Cagenix is expecting sales of $2 million in 2012 and could see that tripling to $6 million in 2013 as the company increases its production and work force. The national dental implant industry has annual sales of more than $1 billion.

Ken Woody, president of Memphis venture company Innova, which provided funding for Cagenix when it launched, says companies that can customize in-demand medical products are becoming popular with venture capitalists.

“That’s exactly what they’re doing, taking an implant and fitting it to each person very rapidly,” Woody says. “They can double and triple their sales in the foreseeable future. We’re very bullish on them.”

Cagenix’s products can cost from $17,000 to $30,000. Because AccuFrame and Cagenix’s other products are mostly elective implants, they aren’t covered by insurance, unless in cases of restoration due to cancer or trauma, Newman says. The majority of the company’s customers come from areas with older populations with disposable income like Florida, Texas, California, Connecticut or New York. It is currently available in more than 30 markets across the country.

“The market is dental specialists, which is a growing side of the dental marketplace,” Newman says. “Dentists are always looking at ways to increase revenue and they do that through implants.”

It currently employs 12 people, but could increase to 30 after the move. Cagenix is currently in a 1,600-square-foot office, which is subleases from Schulter. Broker Michael Donahoe with Sperry Van Ness/Investec Realty Services represented Cagenix in the lease. IDI’s Tim Moore represented the landlord.

Cagenix engineers scan castings from individual patients using CAD design software to provide an implant fit with high precision. Millwork of the titanium fitting is outsourced, but all other steps are processed in-house. The new facility would allow the company to have three scanners for the castings instead of the one it has now.

Newman says the entire process can be completed in 10 business days, while the time from surgery to final implant fitting can take up to nine months.

Russell Olsen, president and CEO of virtual dental referral company CloudDDS and a former executive with dental implant companies like Keystone Dental, says Schulter is one of the leading prosthodontists in the U.S. Because Cagenix’s products are custom-made to fit the contour and shape of bone structures, they make implants better and available quicker for patients.

“As we see an increase in the older population, we’ll see more loss of teeth through disease or injury,” Olsen says. “It speeds up the process of someone having a fully functional tooth, and (with AccuFrame) having a survival rate of 18-40 years, these are almost teeth for life.”

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