Fast-growing health-care company anchors new medical technology park
“I’d love to tell you I was an incredible visionary, but the reason I got involved with this technology is to show it didn’t work,â€ says Avadim Technologies CEO Steve Woody about the patented technology behind his company’s products. “I saw it three times over a five-year period and every time someone asked me if I wanted to buy it, I said no. But I decided to test it, so I could close that door. The test results came back and they were amazing, so I bought the rights to the patent and the proprietary manufacturing equipment.â€
Woody is glad he did. In recent years, Avadim (the name means “servantâ€ in Hebrew) has been growing at approximately 100 percent per annum, and the company is currently at #162 on the Inc. Magazine 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America, up from #234 in 2016.
“We were the second-fastest growing private company in North Carolina and the 13th-fastest growing in the nation in the health-care sector,â€ Woody says, referring to this year’s leap forward.
Avadim’s mission is to improve health through innovative bionome-based topical immunotherapies.
“The way to think of it is that you have been given an amazing spacesuit,â€ Woody says, referring to the stratum corneum (the outer layer of your skin). “We’re taking that spacesuit and making sure it works as well as it can work.â€
Theraworx Protect, Theraworx Relief
To date, the company has launched a handful of therapies, including Theraworx Protect, a line of topical immunotherapies that are designed to keep patients from getting hospital acquired conditions (HACs).
“We are used in intensive care units at some of the most prominent teaching hospitals in the country,â€ Woody says, adding that a hospital is penalized if too many of its patients contract HACs. “We have been able to demonstrate that topical immunotherapies for ICU patients can be significant for a hospital, which is [one reason] why Avadim is growing so fast.â€
Meanwhile, Avadim is also experiencing success with Theraworx Relief, which is designed to bring relief to those who experience muscle cramps.
“We imagine it being a billion-dollar brand over the next five years, because 29 million people have [night] cramping three or more times per week, and of those people only 2 percent are treated, because the drugs for the condition have huge side effects,â€ Woody says. “There is a big white space of patients who don’t have an answer for this significant issue, which can really affect your sleep hygiene.â€
Last but not least, the company has launched Combat One, a “military grade, total body hygiene solution that helps [soldiers] stay clean in the harshest environments,â€ according to the Combat One website.
“We have several branches of the Special Forces using it, and we are looking to expand into other branches of the military,â€ Woody says.
Avadim’s Black Mountain Headquarters
Meanwhile, the company is working toward the completion of its new corporate headquarters in Black Mountain, a 100,000-square-foot space that will also house the manufacturing and R&D side of the business. The new headquarters is part of a larger vision to create a medical technology cluster, with Avadim the anchor tenant at the site. The hope – and expectation – is that other Med-Tech companies will gravitate to the new technology park, attracted by the skill of the local workforce, the quality of life in the Asheville area and the synergies between the various businesses.
“Black Mountain is on the east side of Buncombe County, which has a great base of employees that understand manufacturing and have a great manufacturing work ethic,â€ Woody says.
Woody also expects to take the company public in the not-too-distant future, so Avadim has the capital to launch new therapies at a more rapid pace. Along the way, he expects Avadim to grow from 133 employees to more than 550, attracting new talent by emphasizing the service-oriented nature of the company and the Asheville region’s selling points.
“People love coming in to a purpose-based company that is saving lives worldwide,â€ Woody says. “And you’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier place to live that has more resources for you and your family.â€
Black Mountain has a great base of employees that understand manufacturing and have a great manufacturing work ethic