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Medical Device Development - From Conception to Market Success
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Medical Device Development - From Conception to Market Success

Philadelphia Chapter Meeting

When: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
5:30 PM
Where: BakerHostetler
Cira Centre
2929 Arch Street, 12th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19104
United States
Contact: Dr. Erika Geimonen, Ph.D, egeimonen@yahoo.com

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The Philadelphia region is home to leading academic medical centers, pioneering physicians, and top biomedical engineering programs that together form the ideal conditions for a vibrant and innovative medical device industry. The Licensing Executives Society, Philadelphia Chapter is pleased to announce a panel discussion that will cover the challenges that early stage companies face in bringing their products to market.

Panelists will share their experience and insight regarding:

  • Evaluating the clinical need and commercial potential for investment or advancement
  • Development of early stage prototypes and commercial products
  • Regulatory and clinical trial considerations
  • Commercialization and financing

Each step of the process, including strategies for attracting investment, the need and steps for ensuring proper legal protections around innovative product ideas, navigating the complex waters of FDA and other regulations, and best practice considerations when licensing and monetizing medical device products will be explored.

Moderated by Mark Chandler, Managing Director, Upstream Partners

Joined by panelists: 

Eric Sugalski, President of Smithwise & Managing Partner of PLEXUS Innovation
Michael Geagan, Independent Research Partnership Project Manager
Katherine Leibowitz, Leibowitz LLC


LES Member:     $40
Non member:     $45

At The Door:
LES Member:     $45
Non member:     $50


Mark Chandler is Managing Director of Upstream Partners Group, a private equity group specializing in intellectual property (“IP”) based investment opportunities. Upstream also provides advisory services in the valuation, licensing and monetization of IP and technology. Mark has been active in the technology and patent investment and licensing business for 25 years, and has helped early-stage ventures, universities, research institutes, companies of all sizes and independent inventors to monetize, license, value and develop their technology.

Previously, Mark managed a $60 million early stage corporate venture capital fund for BTG plc and also helped form Primaxis Technology Ventures, Inc., a $50 million Canadian early-stage venture fund, for which he also served on the Board of Directors. He has also served on the Board of Directors for several early-stage venture-backed companies. Mark is also co-founder of TAO Life Sciences, a company in active development of five early stage medical device innovations.

Mark has been selected by the International Journal of Intellectual Property Management to the Intellectual Asset Management list of the Top 300 professionals worldwide in IP management strategy in each of the eight years the list has been compiled.

Mark completed his undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering (BSEE, Bucknell University), continued his technical education in Physics while working at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. He practiced as a researcher building the world’s most accurate atomic clocks and implantable medical devices, and then obtained his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Eric Sugalski is the founder and CEO of Smithwise. With offices in Boston and Philadelphia, Smithwise helps innovators and entrepreneurs advance nascent ideas and technologies into reliable, cost effective and marketable medical devices and instrumentation. Eric started as an engineer in developing minimally-invasive surgical devices, handheld imaging systems, and electrosurgical generators. He has led multi-disciplinary product development teams, including engineers, designers, researchers and clinicians, in the development of novel medical products. In his current role, Eric focuses on new partnerships and business development for Smithwise.

In addition to Sugalski's work at Smithwise, he is a co-founder and managing director of PLEXUS Innovation Hub in downtown Philadelphia. PLEXUS is a state-of-the-art health technology facility comprising R&D, fabrication and metrology equipment. PLEXUS provides a launching pad and work space for early stage health technology companies in the Philadelphia area.

For three years, Eric held a Lecturer appointment within MIT's School of Mechanical Engineering where he taught courses in product development. He is also a frequent lecturer at MIT Sloan on topics related to gaining customer feedback through design methods, prototyping strategies to reduce business risk, and launching new health technology ventures. Eric continues to mentor student teams from MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Temple University.

Eric holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder and MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Michael Geagan is a technical manager experienced in transitioning technology and teams from academic research settings to mature commercial ventures.

Michael is an Independent Research Partnership Project Manager at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). He is currently managing a multi-year research collaboration between the Radiology Physics and Instrumentation Group and a commercial partner.

Previously, Michael held several positions with UGM Medical Systems, a manufacturer of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners. Michael joined UGM in its startup phase as Director of Manufacturing and Service. He was promoted to Vice President of Engineering and in this role oversaw the development of four new scanner models as the company grew. After UGM was acquired by Philips Medical Systems, Michael became the Director of Advanced Development for Philips’s PET Division.

Michael holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Katherine Leibowitz heads the healthcare and technology practice at the boutique law firm of Leibowitz LLC. She co-founded Leibowitz LLC in 2013 after practicing for 17 years at Hogan Lovells, a 2400+ lawyer international law firm.

Katherine represents life sciences companies with FDA-regulated investigational devices, drugs and biologics. Her niche practice encompasses legal, regulatory and business aspects of the clinical trials contracting process and life cycle management.

Katherine has extensive experience as lead outside counsel for sponsors of multi-center studies with responsibility for handling the clinical trials documentation process from start to finish. She regularly negotiates with universities, academic medical centers, clinics, physician practices, contract research organizations, core laboratories and other entities.

Katherine’s cross-disciplinary approach covers general contract law, FDA regulatory compliance, intellectual property, fraud and abuse, financial transparency, HIPAA, Sunshine Act, privacy, litigation risk management, and domestic and foreign legal and regulatory compliance.

During the “Dot Com” boom, Katherine worked in the Northern Virginia office of Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) as an intellectual property commercialization lawyer where she focused on technology contracting, including software licensing, Internet and ecommerce transactions, privacy and venture capital deals.

Katherine holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association Health Law Committee, and the American Bar Association Health Law and Intellectual Property Sections. Katherine is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania.


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