Chie Iwaishi Joins Edwards Lifesciences as Vice President, International Regulatory & Clinical Affairs

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Chie Iwaishi to Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) as Vice President, International Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, where she will lead the expansion of this Irvine-based company in the Japan and Asia-Pacific region.

Iwaishi’s three decades of leadership in regulatory and clinical affairs will be an invaluable asset for Edwards Lifesciences, a global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, critical care and surgical monitoring. The company’s heart valve offerings encompass both surgical and transcatheter therapies for valve replacement and repair. In addition, Edwards’ pipeline of future technologies is focused on the less invasive repair or replacement of the mitral and tricuspid valves of the heart, which are more complex and more challenging to treat than the aortic valve that is currently the focus of many of the commercially approved valve technologies.

Iwaishi is a distinguished leader in regulatory and clinical affairs, with particular expertise in Japan, China, and the broader Asia-Pacific region. She possesses keen knowledge of the regulatory and cultural paradigms, launched the first drug eluting stent in China, and has considerable senior global leadership experience and business acumen. In her new role, she will spearhead Edwards Lifesciences’ regulatory and clinical programs in Asia, which the company has identified as a key strategic initiative.

“Iwaishi’s deep understanding of regulatory affairs, with many successful PMAs and 510ks, and her well-practiced leadership of large globally-dispersed teams will be a tremendous asset to Edwards Lifesciences as they continue to expand on a global stage,” notes Tom Callaway, MD, President and Founder of Life Science Partner.

Iwaishi joins Edwards Lifesciences from Abbott (formerly Alere Inc.), a rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests manufacturer, where she served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Asia Pacific and led their global strategy development and regulatory compliance in Japan, China, Korea and India. She also led the regulatory diligence for Alere’s $1.3 billion acquisition. Earlier in her career, Iwaishi served in regulatory affairs roles of increasing responsibility, working primarily with Class II and Class III medical devices in the cardiovascular space.

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

Megan Eckerman Joins CryoLife as Vice President, Global Marketing

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Megan Eckerman to CryoLife (NYSE:CRY) as Vice President of Global Marketing, where she will lead the unification of this Atlanta-based company’s US and European marketing efforts under a common worldwide strategy as CryoLife continues its transformation from an allographic human tissue provider to a global aortic cardiovascular device leader.

CryoLife is a leader in cryogenically preserved human tissues for cardiovascular applications, as well as heart valves and other medical devices for blood vessel repair. With a focus on aortic technologies, the company has recently expanded their offerings to heart valves and stent grafts with the acquisition of On-X Life Technologies and JOTEC stent graft systems, respectively.

Ms. Eckerman joins CryoLife from Bolton Medical, an aortic stent graft manufacturer, where she served as Vice President of Global Marketing and was instrumental in the merger of Bolton Medical and Terumo’s subsidiary Vascutek under the brand Terumo Aortic following Bolton’s 2017 acquisition by the Japanese medical equipment company. Her earlier career features progressive sales and marketing roles with Medtronic and Intuitive Surgical, as well as service as Chief of Satellite Launch Operations in the United States Air Force.

“Megan’s deep understanding of cardiovascular technologies and their various worldwide customer bases will be a tremendous asset to CryoLife as they continue to reinvent themselves on a global stage,” notes Evan McClure MD, Partner at Life Science Partner. “I am confident her high emotional intelligence and thoughtful leadership philosophy will help her mobilize her team toward this ambitious goal.”

Ms. Eckerman earned her BS in Kinesiology from Indiana University and her MBA from the University of Colorado.

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

About CryoLife

Headquartered in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, CryoLife is a leader in the manufacturing, processing, and distribution of medical devices and implantable living tissues used in cardiac and vascular surgical procedures.  CryoLife markets and sells a highly competitive product portfolio focused on treating aortic disease in more than 80 countries worldwide.

Peter Schiller, PhD Joins Canary Medical as Vice President, Research & Development

Life Science Partner Executive Search is pleased to announce the recruitment of Peter Schiller, PhD to Canary Medical, where he will serve as Vice President of Research and Development.

Canary Medical is an innovative medical technology company commercializing smart implants in the orthopedic, cardiovascular, and aesthetic markets. The company integrates a sensor and microprocessor system into FDA-cleared implantable medical devices to generate real-time insights about the performance and safety of these products.

In his new role, Schiller will spearhead continued product development and commercialization, provide scientific and strategic leadership for this growing team, and serve as the face of the research and development organization to internal and external audiences.

An engineer with a PhD focused on smart sensor systems, Schiller has spent 20 years developing and commercializing novel medical technologies, including a MEMS sensor company he founded and led as CEO.

Schiller previously served as Director of Device Development at San Diego-based Progenity, where he led the design and development of a combination device and connected drug delivery system for gastrointestinal health.

“Peter has well-demonstrated his ability to design and develop novel, forward-thinking electromechanical solutions to complex medical problems,” notes Tom Callaway, Founder and President of Life Science Partner. “His decades in young companies speaks to his entrepreneurial spirit, risk tolerance, and real-world education in the challenges facing implantable medical device startups and how to best navigate them.”

Schiller earned his PhD in Electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and his Masters and Bachelors degrees in Electrical Engineering from the same.

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

Heather Creran Joins Lineagen as Chief Operating Officer

Life Science Partner has recruited Heather Creran to become the Chief Operating Officer for Lineagen, an innovative genetics diagnostics company for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Creran’s depth of operational leadership experience will be a great asset for Lineagen, whose painless cheek swab test can detect hundreds of genetic conditions which can give rise to developmental delay and autism spectrum disorder. Lineagen’s test results are customized to help patients, parents and providers fully understand diagnoses and develop a healthcare management program which is tailored to the individual patient’s needs.

“Throughout her career, Creran has demonstrated a knack for strategic thinking and operational success,” emphasized Tom Callaway, President and Founder of Life Science Partner. Creran comes to Lineagen with extensive experience in highly relevant leadership roles. Most recently, she served as President and Board Director for Emory Genetics Laboratory, a joint venture between Emory University and the US Clinical Diagnostics Division of Eurofins Scientific, an international provider of bioanalytical testing and genomics services. Also of note is Creran’s experience as President and CEO of the cancer diagnostics company SCI Laboratories.

Creran looks forward to leveraging her passion for operational excellence to pursue accelerating growth and success at Lineagen.

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

Liz Spurgin Joins the Medical Device Innovation Consortium as Vice President, Health Economics & Patient Value

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Liz Spurgin to become the first Vice President, Health Economics and Patient Value for the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC).

The MDIC brings together representatives of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), industry, and non-profits and patient organizations to improve the processes for development, assessment and review of new medical technologies. Spurgin will lead the MDIC’s efforts to increase predictability regarding the scientific and clinical evidence to support health economics assessment and the “reasonable and necessary” standard. She will build on the organization’s earlier successes in advancing regulatory science, but with a focus on patient science and economic value.

Prior to assuming her new role, Spurgin was a senior advisor at the prestigious healthcare advisory firm Leavitt Partners. Here and in her earlier roles, Spurgin has extensive experience working with CMS on health economics and coverage matters. Spurgin holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in health care management from the University of Connecticut, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois. Her deep understanding of the CMS coverage process as well as her thoughtful, results-oriented leadership style will make her a valuable addition to the MDIC leadership team.

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

Carl Spear, OD, MBA Joins Luxottica as Senior Vice President, Eyecare

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Carl Spear, OD, MBA, to serve as Senior Vice President, Eyecare for Luxottica, the world’s largest eyeware company.

Luxottica is a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of fashion, luxury, sports and performance eyewear. Of Luxottica’s 80,000 employees, more than 5,000 are US-based Doctors of Optometry providing patient care and business leadership at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, and Target Optical retail stores across the nation.

Luxottica is the world’s leading consumer eyecare group, with proprietary brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli and Arnette, as well as licensed brands including Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Bulgari, Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Michael Kors, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., and Versace.

A merger is underway between Luxottica and Essilor, the world’s leading manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses.

Dr. Spear will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer and will be responsible for the strategic recruitment, development, and retention of Luxottica’s optometrist community while maximizing the economic return of resources allocated among the Company’s retail brands.

Previously, Spear served as Senior Director, Professional Services for Vision Group Holdings, where he recruited and managed the contracting of ophthalmologists and optometrists to staff their 75 refractory and cataract surgery centers. In parallel, he held a consulting role overseeing the professional affairs strategy for Alcon, the eyecare subsidiary of Novartis.

Before joining industry, Spear spent more than 20 years in private optometry practice. He also served in the United States Air Force as Company Commander for a special operations team in Iraq.

“Carl brings the clinical and industry insights to help Luxottica shape how consumer Eyecare is delivered in the years to come,” said Tom Callway, MD, MBA, President of Life Science Partner. “His tremendous network and deep experience in the space will serve him well as he develops strategies to ensure Luxottica attracts and retains best-in-class clinical talent during this critical period for the company.”

Spear earned his Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Alabama School of Optometry with a residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease from Northeastern State University College of Optometry. He also earned an MBA from Auburn University and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Western Kentucky University.

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

 

 

Barbara Benedict Joins Notal Vision as Director, Patient Engagement

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Barbara Benedict to Notal Vision as Director of Patient Engagement.

Notal Vision is a tele-health company offering the first patient-initiated, home-based monitoring system to prevent the progression of macular degeneration through early detection and intervention. The technology combines a physical device with a data management infrastructure and a cloud-based physician monitoring system.

In her new role, Benedict will have broad responsibility over all operational aspects of the customer experience, developing key patient engagement strategies and ensuring an exceptional experience for patients and their caregivers.

Previously, Benedict led customer engagement and marketing at Conifer Health, the healthcare management services subsidiary of Tenet Health. Prior to joining Conifer Health Solutions, Benedict spent 4 years in enterprise physician marketing and communications for BayCare Health System, a health care system connecting patients to a wide range of services at 14 hospitals throughout central Florida. She also spent three years as Director, Customer Relations, Marketing and Operations at Healthcare Partners, which manages and administers healthcare products for contracted health plans. Here she led operations for a large multi-specialty medical clinic including a comprehensive customer relations program and community engagement program.

“Barbara has demonstrated she knows how to use remote monitoring technologies to keep patients well, and that she can build and enact a strategy for ensuring these patients are engaged and supported throughout the entire patient journey,” notes Tom Callaway, MD, MBA, President of Life Science Partner. “Her blend of patient-centered empathy and healthcare operations rigor make her a great match for this important role.”

Benedict earned a degree in Marketing and Business Development from the University of South Florida.

 

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

K2M Recruits Caltlyn Seidl to be Director, Clinical & Regulatory Affairs

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Caitlyn Seidl to K2M, where she will serve as Director, Regulatory & Clinical Affairs.

Based in Leesburg, Virginia, K2M is a medical device company focused on creating tools and implants for minimally-invasive spine surgery. The company is a leader in the 3D printing of spinal implants for deformity (especially scoliosis), trauma, and tumor operations. Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Global Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Seidl will be responsible for directing global clinical outcomes research programs and the global regulatory process for K2M’s product portfolio.

Previously, Seidl served as Manager, Clinical Affairs for the Critical Care division of Edwards Lifesciences, a leader in artificial heart valves and related technologies. Seidl has also held clinical affairs leadership positions with Exactech (orthopedic devices), Axogen (biologics), and Cardioquest (cardiovascular research). She brings to K2M more than a decade of clinical and regulatory affairs leadership including trials in spinal orthopedics.

“Caitlyn impressed us as a leader with both the technical acumen in clinical trials for spinal orthopedic devices and the team management skills to ensure the group’s clinical studies faithfully convey the value K2M’s technologies bring to patients,” shared Tom Callaway, MD, MBA, President of Life Science Partner. “She will be a great asset to K2M and we look forward to seeing her impact over the coming years.”

Seidly earned her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida.

 

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

Mark Alvarez Joins Irrimax as Chief Executive Officer

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Mark Alvarez to Irrimax, where he will serve as Chief Executive Officer.

Irrimax is an Atlanta-based medical technology company that is redefining wound irrigation with Irrisept, the only FDA-cleared medical device for irrigation containing the proven antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).

Alvarez was most recently Chairman, President & CEO of BC Technical, a healthcare services company focused on diagnostic imaging solutions for hospitals & clinics across the US. BCT was acquired in 2017 by Alpha Source, a portfolio company of Baird Capital. Prior to his BC Technical role, Mark was Chairman-Elect & COO of Microtek Medical (Nasdaq:MTMD), a global manufacturer of custom infection control products acquired by Ecolab.

“Mark is a high-energy executive who has demonstrated the ability to fund, grow, and sell small to mid-sized healthcare companies but also has held P&L responsibility in a large global medtech organization,” commented Tom Callaway, MD, MBA, President of Life Science Partner. “His strategic experience in the infection control space will be indispensable to Irrimax during this important inflection point in the company’s growth.”

Alvarez earned a MBA from Illinois State University, a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Louisville, and has completed multiple executive programs at the GE Leadership Institute. He is a former professional tennis player and lives in Atlanta.

 

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.

Frank Stokes Joins Castle Biosciences as Chief Financial Officer

Life Science Partner is pleased to announce the recruitment of Frank Stokes to Castle Biosciences as Chief Financial Officer.

Castle Biosciences is a molecular diagnostics company dedicated to helping patients and their physicians make the best possible decisions about their treatment and follow up care based on the individual molecular signature of their tumor. The Company currently offers tests for patients with cutaneous melanoma and uveal melanoma, with development programs in other underserved cancers.

Stokes previously served as Chief Financial Officer for Hammock Pharmaceuticals, maker of therapies for women’s health and urology. Prior, he was a senior investment banker at Leerink Swan, where he focused principally on diagnostics and biopharmaceuticals.

“Frank brings financial acumen, expertise in capital markets, success with mergers and acquisitions, and a deep knowledge of the diagnostics industry—all of which will help our team continue our mission to improve patient care decisions and deliver shareholder value,” commented Derek Maetzold, President and CEO of Castle Biosciences. “With two commercial products, a robust pipeline, and a strong base of clinical data, Castle Biosciences is well-positioned to leverage his strengths as we target our combined U.S. market opportunity of nearly $2 billion and continue to deliver strong growth in revenue and test volumes.”

Stokes received a B.S. in business administration followed by MBA and J.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

About Life Science Partner Executive Search

Life Science Partner is a specialized executive search firm that recruits transformational leaders for healthcare and life sciences companies. Our high-touch, partner-led process ensures an exceptional level of service, while our backgrounds as physicians and industry executives enable us to efficiently deliver the brightest candidates in the medical device, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and healthcare technology fields.