Founders of companies often clash with CEOs hired to operate the business. But at Miromatrix Medical Inc., a regenerative medicine firm spun out of the University of Minnesota, it happened just over a year after the company began operations.
The company was spun out of UMinn in December 2009 and formally set up in February 2010 when the university signed an exclusive licensing agreement allowing the research of Doris Taylor to be commercialized.
Three years ago, the star university scientist drew international attention for successfully growing — and keeping alive — a beating rat’s heart in a jar. Taylor’s work fueled hopes that scientists can one day grow replacement organs for patients who would typically wait for transplants.
But by July of last year, five months after the licensing deal was struck, the school and the company’s board, which includes a co-inventor, had decided it was time to remove Taylor from the board. In the words of Minneapolis’ Star Tribune: “just five months after publicly vaulting Taylor into business to commercialize her technology, the university quietly fired her from the board of the company she founded.”
The university, a shareholder in the company which also voted in favor of Taylor’s termination, put out a statement that said Miromatrix had been able to replicate Dr. Taylor’s achievement and is looking for viable ways to commercialize it.
“The company is working productively with co-inventor Dr. Harald Ott, is meeting all the milestones in its licensing agreement with the University, and has successfully secured funding in extremely challenging times for all startup companies,” UMinn vice president of research Tim Mulchay said in the statement.
Here’s the latest personnel changes from medical device, diagnostics and life science companies around the nation. For more recent hirings and firings, check out MassDevice’s compilation of the latest personnel moves.
- MiMedx hires of VP for wound care
MiMedx Group Inc. (OTC:MDXG), an integrated developer, manufacturer and marketer of patent protected biomaterial-based products and bioimplants processed from human amniotic membrane, announced the nation-wide launch of the company’s latest product, EpiFix, a biologic implant specifically processed to offer a wide variety of wound healing and wound care options. The company also announces the hiring of Frank Burrows as its vice president of wound care.
- Plus Diagnostics names Pauluzzi CEO
Plus Diagnostics, a leading anatomic pathology company, announced the appointment of David Pauluzzi to CEO. The company announced the promotion following its third consecutive year of double-digit growth. Mr. Pauluzzi, 49, has served as the company’s president and chief operating officer since 2008. Tim Brodnik, a longtime laboratory industry veteran, will continue to work closely with Mr. Pauluzzi in his role as executive chairman.
- Mascoma names Genzyme vet to R&D post
Mascoma Corp. tapped former Genzyme Corp. senior VP Stephen Kennedy as executive VP of research and development. In his new role, Kennedy will lead the of the Lebanon, N.H-based cellulosic ethanol firm’s commercialization efforts, reports Mass High Tech.
- RTP incubator First Flight Venture Center appoints Schwab president
Technology and life science incubator First Flight Venture Center has named technology industry veteran Andrew Schwab its new president. Schwab had been serving as the interim president of the Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based incubator since Executive director John Draper died last summer. Schwab has more than 20 years experience working in several Triangle-based software startups, writes MedCity News.
- Revolutions Medical names new COO
Revolutions Medical Corp. (OTC:RMCP) hired Vincent Olmo as the company’s new COOr. Mr. Olmo combines over five years of experience in information technology and operations senior management, following an eighteen year career as a delivery manager and application architect, the company said.
- Cleveland Clinic taps new chief medical operations officer
Cleveland Clinic has appointed the former chair of its children’s hospital as its new chief medical operations officer. Dr. Robert Wyllie, 61, steps into the role that was vacated when Dr. Marc Harrison was appointed last month the new CEO of the Clinic’s 360-bed Abu Dhabi hospital that’s projected to open late next year. Wyllie’s role will include overseeing the 1,700 employees involved in operations in the clinical supply chain, Modern Healthcare reported. He’s a board-certified physician in pediatrics, pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, and has been with the Clinic since 1981, writes MedCity News.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.