Healthcare Industry News: retinitis pigmentosa
News Release - April 6, 2010
IMI Intelligent Medical Implants Names Robert J. Rosenthal Chief Executive OfficerBONN, Germany, April 6 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- IMI Intelligent Medical Implants, a pioneer developer of a system designed to restore vision to people blinded by diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration, has named veteran life sciences executive, Robert J. Rosenthal, Ph.D., chief executive officer. He is also a member of the IMI board of directors. Dr. Rosenthal has more than 20 years of experience fostering product innovation and building value for customers, shareholders, and employees. Most recently, Dr. Rosenthal was founding president and CEO of Magellan Biosciences, an emerging leader in clinical diagnostic products.
"Bob has held senior executive roles at public and private technology-based companies large and small. The common thread across Bob's career to date is a compelling track record of leadership and success, said IMI Chairman, Vincent Bucci. "He knows what it takes to motivate and inspire a multidisciplinary team and turn a good, innovative idea into a breakthrough product that is ready for and accepted by the market. From a keen understanding of the technology – in IMI's case, a complex amalgamation of medical engineering, biology, neurology, and IT – to strong organizational development, financial management, and regulatory experience, Bob has the skills and knowhow we need to take the company from development to commercial stage."
Previously, Dr. Rosenthal (53) was president and CEO of Boston Life Sciences, an R&D development-phase biopharmaceutical company. Before that, he was president of PerkinElmer's Instruments division, where he managed the acquisition and integration of the Analytical Instruments group from PE Corporation. As president and CEO of Thermo Optek, (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific) Dr. Rosenthal built a market-leading instrument company, which went public in 1996. Dr. Rosenthal began his management career at Wisconsin-based Nicolet Instrument Corporation, ultimately becoming its president after Thermo Instrument Systems acquired the company. Dr. Rosenthal serves on the board of Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. where he chairs the acquisition committee and is a member of the audit committee. A holding company, Safeguard provides growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative life sciences and technology enterprises. Dr. Rosenthal also serves on the board of Primera Dx, a molecular-diagnostics company based in Mansfield, Massachusetts, and he is a member of the University of Maryland Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Board of Advisors.
"The IMI technology clearly holds tremendous promise – but that alone won't make a successful product," said Dr. Rosenthal. "I've had the great privilege over the past months to participate in a comprehensive review of the Intelligent Retinal Implant System™ meeting with IMI scientists, as well as many of the researchers, neuro-ophthalmologists, and surgeons at partner clinics across Europe. What convinced me to join IMI was the passion of the entire team. These physicians and engineers come to work every day dedicated to pioneering the breakthroughs in technology and medicine to restore sight and make a significant difference in patients' lives. I'm inspired to join them and help IMI fulfill its mission and achieve its goals."
Dr. Rosenthal holds a bachelor's of science degree in chemistry from the University of Maryland, a master's in chemistry from State University of New York (Buffalo), and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Emory University. He spent a year in Germany completing a post-doctoral fellowship and as a guest scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This was followed by an additional post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA. In addition, Dr. Rosenthal holds an AEA Executive MBA from Stanford University.
About the Intelligent Retinal Implant System™ (IRIS)
IMI's IRIS comprises three integral parts to approximate the information processing normally carried out by the healthy retina. This includes 1) a "Retinal Stimulator" that is implanted on the patient's retina; 2) a pair of spectacles ("Visual Interface") containing an integrated mini-camera and transmitter components for wireless signal and energy transmission to the Retina Stimulator; and 3) a high-speed microprocessor ("Pocket Processor") worn at the waist that contains tunable software to provide intelligently processed (or coded) visual information to the implant and optic nerve cells, which the brain learns to interpret and translate into functional sight. Proprietary algorithms enhance the systems performance. For example, a unique attribute is the system's use of patient feedback on perception as an input for tuning the Pocket Processor. This process has shown great promise in expediting and optimizing visual perception as the patient learns to see again. Another benefit over other implantable devices is that the IMI Retinal Stimulator can be easily upgraded with a next-generation device as sensor technology advances: the detachable IMI unit clips onto a special tack that is implanted in the back of the eye, expediting device removal and replacement.
About IMI Intelligent Medical Implants (www.imidevices.com)
Founded in 2002, IMI AG, based in Zug, Switzerland – and its subsidiary IMI Intelligent Medical Implants GmbH in Bonn, Germany – is a pioneer developer of a system designed to restore vision to people blinded by diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration. Its flagship product is the Intelligent Retinal Implant System, now in clinical development. A privately held company, key investors include Abingworth Management, Global Life Science Ventures, PolyTechnos Venture Partners, and Quantum Technology Partners.
Source: IMI Intelligent Medical Implants
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