Business Drivers 13118

Paul R. Sohmer

March 1, 2008

5 Min Read
Business Drivers


Paul R. Sohmer, MD, has assumed the role of acting CEO at in vitro diagnostics manufacturer Cylex Inc. (Columbia, MD). He has also been appointed to the company's board of directors. Sohmer has served as CEO of both public and privately held medical device, biotechnology, and healthcare services companies. Most recently, he served as chairman, president, and CEO of TriPath Imaging Inc. (Burlington, NC), which was sold to Becton Dickinson (Franklin Lakes, NJ) in December 2006. In a related announcement, Judy Britz, PhD, Cylex's chairman and CEO for the past eight years, has left the company to pursue personal interests. The company plans to initiate a formal search for her permanent successor. Britz joined Cylex in May 1999. During her tenure as CEO, she raised more than $33 million in funding for the company.

Denny Sakkas, PhD, has joined Molecular Biometrics LLC (New Haven, CT), a privately held diagnostics company, as chief scientific officer. Sakkas is an associate professor at Yale University School of Medicine and director of the embryology laboratory at Yale Fertility Center. In conjunction with the new appointment, Molecular Biometrics announced that it is opening a new 2200-square-foot research facility adjacent to Yale University. Sakkas will oversee the company's research and development activities from the new facility, which will initially be dedicated to the company's lead product candidate, ViaTest-E. The product is in late-stage development for the assessment of embryo viability in the field of in vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive technology.

Biomedical device technology developer Biophan Technologies Inc. (Pittsford, NY) has named Stan Yakatan as chairman of the board of directors. Yakatan has served on Biophan's board since 2006. He is also the founder, chairman, and CEO of Katan Associates (Hermosa Beach, CA), a consulting firm and corporate finance advisory group focused on life sciences. Yakatan also currently serves as chairman of Grant Life Sciences Inc. (Los Angeles).

EyeGate Pharma (Waltham, MA), a privately held company developing iontophoresis technology to noninvasively deliver therapeutics for ocular indications, has promoted Michael A. Patane, PhD, to chief scientific officer. Patane joined EyeGate in 2007 as vice president of research and development. Prior to joining EyeGate, he was executive director of global discovery chemistry at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where he was responsible for infectious diseases and ophthalmology drug discovery programs. EyeGate has also appointed Remis Bistras, PhD, as vice president of business development. Prior to joining EyeGate, Bistras was senior consultant at advisory firm S.M. Jagger Consulting (Litchfield, CT). Previously, Bistras was director of business development and licensing at CIBA Vision-Novartis, a $1.5 billion eye care division of Novartis.


Bob Pryor has decided to step down from his position as head of Agfa HealthCare Americas (Greenville, SC). Barry Stone, COO of Agfa HealthCare Americas, has taken over the position of CEO. Pryor joined Agfa with the company's Sterling Diagnostic Imaging acquisition in 1999. At Sterling Diagnostics, he was responsible for sales and service for the Americas and was a member of the global executive management committee. Before Sterling Diagnostics, Pryor held a number of cross-functional management positions at the DuPont Co. in its healthcare businesses. He retires following a 34-year career in the healthcare field. Stone served as COO for the U.S. organization for nearly two years prior to his appointment as CEO. Over the years, he has held a variety of roles at Agfa, including serving as managing director of Agfa in the United Kingdom.


Alphatec Holdings Inc. (Carlsbad, CA), a medical technology company focused on products for the surgical treatment of spine disorders, announced that Andrew Mahar, a veteran biomechanics and clinical research practitioner, has joined the company as senior director of biomechanics and clinical research. Mahar was formerly director of the Orthopedic Biomechanics Research Center at Rady Children's Hospital (San Diego). From 1998 to 2005, Mahar served as a biomechanical engineer in the department of orthopedics at Rady Children's Hospital.

Naviscan PET Systems Inc. (San Diego), a privately held company specializing in the development of high-resolution positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, has announced four senior appointments: Skip Mendelson as vice president of sales, Ashok Kaul as vice president of marketing, Guillaume Bailliard as vice president of market development, and Christopher Matthews, PhD, as vice president of technology. Most recently, Mendelson served as vice president of sales at R2 Technology (Santa Clara, CA), a developer of computer-aided detection software, and Trex-Lorad Medical Systems, a manufacturer of mammography and breast biopsy equipment. He began his career at GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK), where he held positions in sales and sales management over an eight-year span. Kaul has more than 22 years of healthcare experience in marketing and product development with Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, GE Healthcare, and Bacchus Vascular, where, most recently, he held the position of vice president of marketing. He began his career as a product development engineer at GE Healthcare. Bailliard has 10 years of healthcare experience. Most recently, he was the Americas x-ray sales manager for GE Healthcare. He began his career as a design engineer for Genzyme Surgical (Cambridge, MA). Matthews has 12 years of diagnostic imaging experience, most recently as a project director for Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, PA), where he led the development of multiple generations of PET-CT systems.


St. Jude Medical Inc. (St. Paul, MN) has elected Barbara B. Hill to its board of directors. Hill is currently CEO and president of ValueOptions Inc. (Norfolk, VA), a privately owned managed behavioral health company, where she also serves as a board member. Hill has 30 years of experience within the healthcare industry, including past roles as president of Express Scripts Inc. (St. Louis), a Fortune 200 pharmacy benefits management company where she also served on the board of directors. She also previously served as CEO and chairman of Woodhaven Health Services (Baltimore), a venture capital–owned institutional pharmacy.

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