Hong Kong company invests in Rochester
A Hong Kong-based company with ties to Mayo Clinic is building an office valued at $1 million in downtown as its chairman invests more than $2.5 million in two large Rochester homes.
Medisun Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong company which is partnering with Cardio3 Biosciences and Mayo Clinic, has applied to build an office in the west corner of the under-construction Plaza on Historic 3rd building at 300 S. Broadway. The office, valued at $1 million in the applications, will be located on parts of the second and third floors of the seven-story complex.
Plaza on Historic 3rd is being built by Titan Development and Investments, which is owned by the Chafoulias family of Rochester.
City documents show the new office, while owned by Medisun, will be occupied by Alphaomega Healthcare. It is unknown what the focus of Alphaomega will be or if it will be linked to Cardio3. However, Mayo Clinic officials say the clinic is not involved with Alphaomega.
Medisun's Chairman, Danny Wong, has a strong interest in investing in regenerative-medicine research. He has organized medical conventions in both Beijing and Shanghai "to promote cell-based medicines as well as Cardio3's technology." Cardio3, a Belgium firm based on discoveries made by two Mayo Clinic researchers, is starting a Phase III Clinical Trial of its cardiac treatment that uses a patient's stem cells to rebuild damaged heart tissue. Medisun now owns more of Cardio3 than Mayo does.
Medisun's investment in Cardio3 surpassed Mayo's stock ownership this summer, when it purchased $34 million in stock. As of August, Medisun owned 8.08 percent of the company compared to Mayo's 3 percent. Mayo had owned 5.05 percent in June.
The city of Rochester and Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. are developing space in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center for Cardio3's use for its clinical trial that begins in January. The city and RAEDI also are trying to work out a deal for Cardio3 to take over the fifth floor of the building. City officials are hopeful those efforts will make Rochester more attractive for Cardio3 to build a manufacturing plant, which could bring 350 jobs here.
Medisun already is in the process of building a production facility and a medical center for Cardio3 in Hong Kong.
The stakes are high for Medisun, Cardio3, Mayo Clinic and Rochester. A recent study estimated the global market for such cardiac treatments could grow to $18.2 billion by 2019. The U.S. market was valued at $6.1 billion in 2012, with potential to increase to $8.49 billion by 2019.
Chairman buys two Rochester homes
Recent residential real estate purchases show that Medison's chairman, Danny Wong, is personally bullish on Rochester. On Oct. 31, he bought an estate at 2515 Crest Lane S.W. for $1.4 million. Wong followed that up by buying a Pill Hill house at 615 10 Ave. S.W. for $1.31 million. Wong was not available for comment, so it's not known if these properties are for his personal use or are investments.
Chinese investors have become increasingly interested in Rochester in recent years, due in part to the Destination Medical Center initiative.
Al Lun, retired IBMer and Chinese national, says he is seeing more and more people from China visiting Rochester.
"I am aware there is interest," he said.
In September, a group of 20 CEOs from major medical groups in Shanghai, China, visited to learn about the health-care industry and the community. The Rochester-based Council for U.S.-China Medical Technology Exchange brought 100 Chinese here in 2010. That number spiked to more 300 for 2014 in just the first six months of the year, according to council General Manager QuiYang Zhang.