Healthcare Industry News:  ventricular assist device 

Devices Venture Capital Personnel

 News Release - January 25, 2011

Robert S. (“Bob”) Ward assumes full-time role as Chairman of Emergence Venture Partners, LLC

“Bob Ward has made significant contributions to the medical device industry as a recognized thought leader and successful entrepreneur in the field of advanced biomaterials.”

  - George Pitarra, Jr., President and Managing Director

BERKELEY, Calif.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- Emergence Venture Partners, a venture firm that is focused on the application of novel biomedical polymer technology in the development of medical devices and prosthetic implants, announced today that Bob Ward has assumed the position of Chairman, effective immediately. Since May 2008 Mr. Ward served as President and CEO of DSM PTG, formerly the Polymer Technology Group (PTG), which was co-founded by Mr. Ward in 1989 and acquired by Royal DSM N.V. in 2008.

Mr. Ward has nearly 40 years of novel biomedical polymer development experience, and his inventions have become the enabling technology for many medical devices being marketed today. For his achievements, Mr. Ward was presented with the “2006 Excellence in Surface Science Award” by the Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation, an acknowledgement of his lifetime of contributions to the field of surface sciences in the development of biomedical polyurethane for cardiovascular and other applications; a career that spans the early days of the intraaortic balloon pumps and ventricular assist devices to modern- day spinal implants. He has made significant contributions to the field of medical devices, exemplified by the introduction of Biospan®, Bionate®, and Elasthane™ as high-quality, well-defined replacement biomaterials at a crucial time when legal pressures led to the complete absence of these materials from the medtech marketplace. His contributions continue today with development of the highly novel Surface Modifying End Group technology, allowing device manufacturers to specify particular surface interfacial chemistries while retaining the desirable bulk properties of polyurethanes. These achievements by Mr. Ward continue to advance the science and engineering of biomaterials interface.

“When Bob Ward co-founded PTG in 1989, there was a medical device crisis looming,” said George Pitarra, Jr., President and Managing Director, Emergence Venture Partners. “Suppliers of materials used to make medical devices—‘biomaterials’—were alarmed by massive class action lawsuits. These lawsuits, which were primarily related to bodily injury from temporomandibular (TMJ) and breast implants, convinced material suppliers to pull out of the medical market. This left medical device manufacturers high and dry: Where would they get the specialized biomaterials necessary to make their artificial hearts, pacemakers and intraaotic balloons? This huge void was filled by the Polymer Technology Group, led by Bob Ward. Emergence is extremely excited to have Bob join our team as Chairman.”

Emergence Venture Partners is a Berkeley, Calif.-based venture capital firm that is focused on the application of novel biomaterials technology for the development of medical devices. The firm’s founders not only have deep expertise in the intricacies of polymer chemistry, but also they understand the material requirements for a specific application of use —allowing Emergence to lend this knowledge to its portfolio companies in order to jump-start their R&D process.

Source: Emergence Venture Partners

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