Julio Palmaz, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Scientist.
Dr. Palmaz currently holds the Ashbel Smith Professorship as a tenured professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is the founder of Advanced Bio Prosthetic Surfaces, an R&D company devoted to advanced device concepts, which licensed certain of its intellectual property to J&J/Cordis in 2003. He also founded Palmaz Vineyards in 1997, an advanced winemaking operation based on underground gravity flow processing and the largest underground winemaking facility in the US. He received his doctorate of medicine in 1971 at the National University of La Plata, Argentina, and completed his radiology specialty training at the University of California, Davis, in 1980.
Dr. Palmaz began his professional career in 1974 at San Martin University Hospital, Argentina, and was chief of special procedures at Martinez Veterans Administration hospital in 1981. In 1983, Dr. Palmaz joined the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Radiology as Chief of Angiography and Special Procedures until 1999, and as Chief of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Research until 2005. He is the inventor of the Palmaz Stent and was a principal in EGP, a partnership that held the licensing rights to the Palmaz-Schatz Coronary Stent which was purchased by Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Palmaz has 20 issued patents, is the author of 29 books or book chapters, and has authored 104 peer-reviewed publications. He is a 2007 gold medalist of the Society of Interventional Radiology, 2006 inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, a 2005 Distinguished Scientist of the American Heart Association, and fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. For two years in a row, his patent on the balloon-expandable stent was recognized as one of the "Ten patents that changed the world," published in Intellectual Property International magazine in August 2002. His early stent research artifacts are now part of the medical collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., as well as the Texas History Museum in Austin, TX.
In January 2003 Palmaz received the Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award from the University of Texas, San Antonio. He has received the titles of "Master of Interventional Cardiology" from the Argentina College of Cardiology, and "Extraordinary Professor" from the National University of La Plata, Argentina. In addition, Palmaz has received honorary titles or awards from the American Heart Association, the International Society of Endovascular Surgery, the Society of Interventional Radiology, the German Roentgen Society, The Rotterdam Thoraxcenter in Holland, the Washington Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the Society of Cardiac Angiography, the Texas Heart Institute, the Texas Bar Association, the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, the Cardiovascular Institute of the South, and the Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation.
Philip J. Romano, Director.
Philip J. Romano is an investor, entrepreneur, artist, and nationally-renowned restaurateur -- involved in the restaurant business for over 40 years. Throughout the course of his career, he has created over 25 concepts. Mr. Romano has created several national restaurant concepts including Fuddruckers, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Spageddies, Cozymel's, Rudy's Country Store and BBQ and eatZi's Market & Bakery. The restaurant concepts created by Mr. Romano produce over $1 billion in sales each year and to date, his concepts have generated more than $10 billion in revenue.
Mr. Romano was a principal in EGP, a partnership that held the licensing rights to the Palmaz-Schatz Stent that was purchased by Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Romano also served on the board of directors and was an investor in CardioSpectra, a medical device company sold to Volcano Corporation (NASDAQ: VOLC). In addition, Mr. Romano was founder and partner of the American Institute of Gastric Banding, a developer of outpatient bariatric surgery centers, and co-founded Scientific Health Development, a fund that is an early stage investor in medical device, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Romano wrote a book entitled "Food for Thought," published by Dearborn in 2005 and made the CEO Best Sellers list.
From 1989 to 2002, Mr. Romano served as a consultant and joint venture partner of Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT) as national operator, developer and franchisor of numerous restaurant concepts, including Chili's Bar & Grill and Romano's Macaroni Grill. Mr. Romano currently owns and operates the following restaurant concepts: eatZi's Market & Bakery, Nick & Sam's Steak & Fish House, Who's Who Burgers and Coal Vines Pizza. Romano and his family have established a charitable foundation, The Food Foundation, which operates as Hunger Busters, and provides food to the hungry and has a mission of bringing a fresh meal with compassion to every hungry citizen of Dallas, Texas.
Mr. Romano currently serves on the Board of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He lectures frequently at universities, national business seminars, civic organizations and special interest group meetings.
Steven B. Solomon, CEO and Director.
Steven B. Solomon currently serves as the chief executive officer and a director of Palmaz Scientific, a leader in the research, development and commercialization of implantable medical devices manufactured with patented thin film physical vapor deposition technologies and processes. Mr. Solomon has served in executive and director roles with public and private companies for more than 20 years, with substantial experience in public and private equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and executive management.
Mr. Solomon served as chief executive officer, president and chairman of the board of directors of Citadel Security Software Inc. since its formation in December 1996 until its sale in December 2006 to McAfee, Inc. (NYSE: MFE). Mr. Solomon also served as director, president and chief executive officer of CT Holdings Enterprises, Inc. until the company's merger with Xcorporeal Inc. Mr. Solomon was the founder and served as chairman of the board, chief executive officer and director of Parago, Inc., an incubation venture of CT Holdings that is an application solution provider and internet-based business process outsourcer that provides an on-line suite of promotional offerings designed to automate promotional management and optimize the customer care services offered by its clients. Mr. Solomon led Parago in completing approximately $85 million in angel and venture financings and three acquisitions. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Solomon also served as a director of River Logic, Inc., an incubation venture of CT Holdings that creates and operates integrated networks of decision support tools, E-learning solutions and E-commerce capabilities designed to enable decision makers to leverage knowledge and information to gain a competitive advantage.
Mr. Solomon has served on the board of directors of Boo-Koo Holdings and the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) where he testified before a congressional oversight hearing on "Information Security-Vulnerability Management Strategies and Technology," providing an industry perspective on cyber security legislation and the importance of protecting our national infrastructure. Mr. Solomon is also active in the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) of North Texas.
Dr. Eugene A. Sprague, Director.
Dr. Eugene A. Sprague has over 40 years as an investigator in the area of cardiovascular research with emphasis on arterial pathophysiology and vascular device development. He currently holds the position of Professor of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. In addition, Dr. Sprague also holds an appointment as an Adjoint Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has over 75 publications related to his expertise. Specifically, one of his primary research areas has focused on the role of endothelial function in the healing of the vascular wall, particularly with respect to implanted devices, including vascular grafts and stents, at sites of revascularization. This research is based on the concept that increasing the rate of re-endothelialization at stent implantation sites can limit restenosis by inhibiting thrombosis, inflammation and intimal hyperplasia at these sites. By promoting rapid endothelial healing, restenosis is inhibited without the need for cytotoxic drugs that are currently used in the popular drug-eluting stents and are associated with increased rates of late thrombosis.
Our laboratory has developed, evaluated and implanted novel vascular grafts and stents using both in vitro and in vivo models. Ongoing efforts are investigating the influence of different biomaterials on key factors involved in restenosis including inflammation, thrombosis, and re-endothelialization. We have developed and published a model system for evaluating biocompatibility of potential vascular biomaterial surfaces. Based on this research, Dr. Sprague and Dr. Julio Palmaz invented and patented a stent with luminal grooves designed to promote rapid endothelial healing at revascularization sites. Recently completed studies evaluated stents with this novel surface topography demonstrated that the grooved stent surface both increased the rate of endothelialization by two-fold and reduced intimal hyperplasia using an established pig coronary artery model.
Christopher Banas, Director.
Christopher E. Banas has over 30 years experience in the chemical, microelectronics and medical device industries, where he has held various engineering and executive management positions at C.R. Bard, Inc., Guidant/ACS, Inc. and W.L. Gore, Inc. Mr. Banas began his career as a polymer chemist at the Roy C. Ingersoll Research Center/Borg Warner Chemicals. Mr. Banas is currently the president and general manager of the OCT division of Volcano Corporation. Mr. Banas held the position of chairman and CEO of CardioSpectra, Inc., a medical device diagnostic company that was acquired by Volcano Corp. (NASDAQ: VOLC).
Mr. Banas co-founded ABPS and was President and CEO in 2003 when ABPS entered into an exclusive license agreement with Cordis. In addition to his engineering, executive management and business development experience, Mr. Banas holds 31 US patents in the fields of cardiovascular medicine, nanotechnology and thin film deposition of Nitinol.
Intellectual property portfolios developed by Mr. Banas have resulted in two acquisitions and one exclusive licensing arrangement. He has developed intellectual property programs and coordinated technology transfers from both academic and industry institutions, carrying out extensive due diligence on behalf of both buyers and sellers.
Being highly respected and well-connected in the elite bio-medical device community has allowed Mr. Banas to connect with the top medical specialists, academic researchers, intellectual property experts and investors in the bio-medical industry. In addition to his successful business development ventures, Mr. Banas also sits on the board of directors for Resonetics Inc., an excimer laser company supporting the medical device and electronics industry and has an active consulting business, CB Technology Ventures where he provides services to companies like Elliot and Associates, a Wall Street hedge fund.
Mr. Banas has authored book chapters and technical papers and has spoken at the International Conference on Shape Memory and Superelastic Technologies (SMST), NanoBioTech and Nano Summit.