Alfred Mann, a medical device entrepreneur who helped develop several groundbreaking technologies, died yesterday at age 90, shortly after stepping down from a pair of companies he founded.
Mann founded 17 companies over his 70-year career, in industries ranging from aerospace to medtech, according to the L.A. Times.
After Johns Hopkins University researchers in 1969 asked him to help create a longer-lasting pacemaker, Mann turned his eye from the aerospace industry to medtech, according to the Times. In later years he founded several medical device companies, including MiniMed, which Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) acquired for $3.3 billion in 2001.
Mann also started Advanced Bionics, which helped pioneer the cochlear implant; Second Sight Medical (NSDQ:EYES) and its retinal implant for treating blindness; and pharmaceutical company MannKind (NSDQ: MNKD), which is working on an inhalable insulin product. In recent weeks he stepped down from his roles at Second Sight and MannKind, the newspaper reported.
“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of our founder, mentor and friend, Al Mann, a pioneering leader whose contributions and vision profoundly impacted the lives of so many and whose legacy will impact many more. Everyone he came in contact with was enriched and inspired by him. Personally, I am eternally grateful for Al’s generous guidance and support these last 16 years. At Second Sight, we all feel deeply honored to have worked alongside of and known such a remarkable person. The world is a little darker without his presence, but his spirit will live on in every blind person who is brought back into the light by our products,” Second Sight co-founder & chairman Dr. Robert Greenberg said in prepared remarks.
“Al has been a wonderful inspiration, not only to me, but to all the employees of MannKind. His kindness, generosity, and business acumen have influenced all of us with whom he has done business and charitable work over the years. He will be terribly missed by many, including the countless patients around the world with diabetes and other serious illnesses, whose lives he improved. I am thankful to have had a close relationship with Al, and will reflect on his counsel and guidance in the years to come. Our resolve is now stronger than ever to continue Al’s legacy of medical innovation, as a tribute to this remarkable man, who did so much to help mankind,” added MannKind CEO Matthew Pfeffer.
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