June 22, 2011 Program
Guest Presenter: David R. Dantzker, MD
David R. Dantzker, MD is a partner at Wheatley MedTech Partners LP since 2001. He manages Wheatley Partner’s Life Science and Healthcare investments. He has served on the faculty and in leadership positions of four major medical schools, and has authored or co-authored 130 research papers and five textbooks. Dr. Dantzker was President of North Shore-LIJ Health System, one of the largest academic health care systems in the country and founded the North Shore-LIJ Research Institute to direct and coordinate basic science research for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. He is past Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the largest physician certifying board in the United States and was Vice-Chair of the Greater NY Hospital Association. Dr. Dantzker holds a B.A. in Biology from New York University, and received his M.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. Dr. Dantzker sits on the boards of several Wheatley portfolio companies including Oligomerix, Visionsense, Comprehensive Neurosciences and Advanced BioHealing. He also serves on the Board of SurModix (SRDX) and Physicians for Human Rights.
OptiCul Diagnostics Ltd.: David Frank, Phd, Vice-Pesident
OptiCul Diagnostics Ltd. (“OptiCul” or “the company”) is a medical device development company that designs, manufactures and markets medical diagnostic devices for point of care (POC) bacteria detection. The company was founded in January 2008 by Dr. Moshe Ben- David and Dr. Gallya Gannot, and is based in Tel-Aviv. The company has recently established a subsidiary in the State of Maryland.
OptiCul had raised about $ 1.7 million from Docor BV, ORS Ltd., Van-Leer Venture Jerusalem, private investors and the Office of the Israeli Chief Scientist. Currently the company seeks to raise funds that will support the company’s final R&D activities, regulatory clinical trials, regulatory process and scale-up for early sales to selected customers.
The company is developing a diagnostic medical device that optically identifies bacteria in bodily samples very rapidly, with high sensitivity and specificity, and without the use of chemical reagents. OptiCul is the first in the world to optically detect differences between the antibiotic resistant bacterium (MRSA) and antibiotic sensitive bacterium (MSSA). The company has recently completed a clinical, 1000 patient, study to detect MRSA/MSSA bacteria directly from nasal swabs, without the use of any reagents and within 5 minutes. The study was conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. The results of the study confirmed the superior sensitivity and specificity of the system.
OptiCul has also completed an initial proof of concept test for the detection of Streptococcus type A bacteria in throat swabs, useful in facilitating fast and accurate diagnosis (specificity and sensitivity of > 95%) and a better antibiotic management of sore throat; this study was undertaken at the Clalit HMO in Israel.
The company has further characterized the optical signature of more than a dozen clinically relevant bacteria and has developed algorithms to distinguish one from another.
Urovalve, Inc.; Harvey Holman MBA, Ph.D. President/ CEO
Urovalve, Inc. is a company with a mission to provide superior solutions that address problems with urinary control and flow. Within the realm of Medical Devices, this has been a drastically underserved area with little or no innovation since the early 1970’s. Even though physicians, caregivers and patients alike all recognize the need to provide a higher standard of care, there are very few options for those in need. Related issues such as infection, skin breakdown and patient dignity continue to add cost to overburdened health care systems throughout the world. As the world population continues to age, the demand in this area will continue to grow. The global market for urinary catheters (based on 2006 data) is approximately $3.2 Billion with an annual growth rate of 6-12% (BCC Research). Within that figure it is estimated that more than 90 million Foley catheters and over 100 million intermittent catheters are used each year. Urovalve is dedicated to finding innovative, clinically relevant and cost effective solutions. Currently the Company is working on two novel devices that will address important unmet medical needs for two distinctly different segments of the urinary catheter market.
Ohr Pharmaceutical Inc.; Irach B. Taraporewala B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Ohr Pharmaceutical Inc., is a development stage, public pharmaceutical company based in New York, dedicated to the development of novel compounds for underserved therapeutic needs in large and growing markets. The company was founded in late 2008 to acquire later stage undervalued pharmaceutical assets. This strategy was implemented under the scientific leadership of Dr. Shalom Z. Hirschman, and after extensive due diligence, the company acquired its two lead compounds, OHR/AVR118 for the treatment of cachexia in cancer patients and Squalamine (EVIZONTM) for the treatment of Wet-AMD. These two compounds previously had over $100 million dollars invested in research and development, with a large amount of clinical data showing efficacy and safety of the compounds. Ohr’s strategy is to move the programs forward in a rapid and cost effective manner using its proprietary in house technology and knowhow.