Swedish Medical Device Firm, Elekta, Relocates HQs to Dunwoody; Adds 100 Jobs

Published: Apr 26, 2012

Atlanta Business Chronicle by Urvaksh Karkaria, Staff Writer

The developer of Leksell Gamma Knife, a popular brain cancer treatment device, will add 100 jobs and relocate its North American headquarters from Norcross to an iconic office building in Central Perimeter.

The Stockholm-based medical device company, Elekta Inc., will locate the new headquarters in about 50,000 square feet at The Terraces office complex in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter business district. The company could take an additional 20,000 square feet for a training center, sources said.

The Elekta relocation and expansion was referred to as “Project Sack” in economic development circles. The Georgia Department of Economic Development declined to comment on the expansion, which is expected to be announced today.

Elekta develops tools and dose planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery and brachytherapy, in addition to software systems.

The company will relocate about 150 employees from Norcross to Dunwoody, said Kristie Amobi, Elekta's vice president of oncology marketing.

The 100 new jobs, which will be added over five years, will include sales, accounting and marketing, finance and service engineering jobs.

“We’ve been expanding our marketshare pretty rapidly in North America,” Amobi said. “We need additional resources.”

Elekta is considering locating a training center at the new headquarters, which would attract physicians from around the country, Amobi said.

“We are still evaluating our options for internal and external education as we have various locations around the country that we use for that purpose,” she said.

In addition to Atlanta, Elekta has major operations in Sunnyvale, Calif; Henderson, Nev.; and St. Louis, Mo.

Atlanta is a magnet that attracts talented people and high-growth companies such as Elekta, said David Hartnett, vice president of bioscience-health IT industry development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. The region is home to more than 200 health IT companies, who employ more than 16,000, Hartnett said.

Elekta considered moving the headquarters out of Atlanta and looked at sites in three cities.

The company decided “to stay put because Atlanta is really thriving in terms of the bioscience community,” Amobi said. “We consider DeKalb County (where The Terraces is located) as the hub of the growing biomedical community.”

Elekta chose The Terraces because of its location near Perimeter Mall and its proximity to more than 30 restaurants.

The office complex is easily recognized by its twin mid-rise towers connected by rectangular latticework. The development has several high profile tenants including software firm, Ventyx and AFC Enterprises Inc., franchiser and operator of Popeyes restaurants.

Elekta was looking for a iconic, high-profile property, said Michael Starling, director of economic development for the city of Dunwoody.

“They want to tell the city and region they are here,” Starling said.

Leksell Gamma Knife is an advanced radiosurgery device designed to treat intracranial tumors, including metastatic cancer in the brain and other brain disorders without making an incision. Gamma Knife surgery delivers thousands of low-intensity radiation beams to one or more targets in a single session. This method provides “pinpoint” accuracy and high efficiency, while patients endure shorter recovery time and little to no side effects.

Four hospitals in Georgia, including Piedmont Hospital and Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta, offer Gamma Knife treatment.

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