HistoSonics Inc. brought former Food & Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach onto its board yesterday.
The ex-commissioner’s experience as a surgeon, urological oncologist and healthcare administrator made him a good fit, said the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company, which is developing a treatment for urological cancer.
CEO Tom Davison said "[Dr. von Eschenbach’s] commitment to safe and effective healthcare and especially cancer therapy aligns precisely with HistoSonics’ vision and long term strategy," in a prepared statement.
Dr. von Eschenbach served as a physician, administrator and academic before going on to be elected president of the American Cancer Society, appointed director of the National Cancer Institute and subsequently FDA commissioner from 2006 to 2009. He is currently senior director for strategic initiatives at the Center for Health Transformation and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He also serves on the board of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, according to HistoSonics.
The company’s technology, which it licensed from the University of Michigan, is based on histotripsy, a non-invasive image-guided therapeutic ultrasound system that excises tumor tissue. HistoSonics said it is designing the device for treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.
Eschenbach’s tenure at the FDA was marked by controversy, with scientists and doctors at the agency accusing him and other administrators of “serious wrongdoing” in an open letter to President Barack Obama last year.