Manfred Sablowski, Consultant Interim CEO
With 30 years of senior management experience in the Medical Device/ Technology Industry, Manny has been instrumental in managing and growing several highly successful Medtech companies, such as Valleylab, a division of Pfizer Hospital Product Group as General Manager / CEO for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Bovie Medical and other U.S Medtech companies. He has executive level expertise in building U.S. and Global Medical Sales & Marketing teams, with a strong focus on operational and strategic market access in the healthcare industry.
Dr. Tom Hedman, CSO
Tom Hedman, PhD., Intralink-Spine's founder and Chief Science Officer, has been involved in orthopedic research and development since 1983, with a focus on soft-tissue biomechanics since 1985. His graduate bioengineering training was at MIT and the University of Strathclyde. Dr. Hedman is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Hedman is a recognized pioneer in the spine field with over 35 years of experience in both the academic and entrepreneurial realms. He has made over 100 presentations at national and international conferences and has over 65 peer-reviewed published articles. He has been a reviewer for U.S. NIH grants and various technical journals.
Tom currently has more than 40 issued patents, beginning with the first of its kind “2nd generation” disc replacement device (total disc prosthesis) issued in 1988.
Bruce Choi, VP Product Development & Quality
Bruce Choi is a medical device professional with over 20 years of global experience in Quality, Research & Development, Operations, and Supply Chain at large multi-national and privately held start-up companies.
Prior to joining Intralink-Spine, Bruce was the Director of Medtronic’s endoVenous Global Operations where he was responsible for the end-to-end values stream of products accounting for over $400 million in revenue.
His experience also includes leadership roles in several start-up companies, most recently with Sapheon, Inc. which was acquired by Covidien in 2014. Bruce is the Founder & CEO of Integral, a consulting firm that focuses on building Quality and Operational infrastructure for new medical device ventures.
Bruce has a B.S. degree in Material Science & Engineering from Cornell University and a M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Cal Poly.
Elsa Abruzzo, Regulatory Advisor
Elsa Abruzzo's experience spans a 25+ year successful regulatory, quality, clinical, and operations track record. As Founder and CEO of Cygnus Regulatory, her areas of expertise include cardiovascular, neurovascular, orthopedic, CRM, diagnostic imaging, mHealth, Health IT, and point of care diagnostics.
Prior to Cygnus, Ms. Abruzzo worked at companies such as Baxter, Cordis JNJ, CryoLife, Percutaneous Valve Technologies (acquired by Edwards LifeSciences), AtriCure, and Polymer Technology Systems Cardiochek.
Ms. Abruzzo’s regulatory strategies have resulted in global commercialization of numerous technologies. Some of the disruptive medical solutions Elsa helped bring to market include: transcatheter tissue heart valves, implantable biomaterials, surgical adhesives, embolic agents, stents, atrial fibrillation ablation devices, neuromodulation devices, and point of care analyzers.
Ms. Abruzzo has a B.S. in engineering from the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL), is regulatory affairs certified (RAC), and a Fellow of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (FRAPS) Fellow.
Dr. Matt Brown, Research Scientist
Dr. Brown has extensive biomaterials experience from his graduate work developing a bioactive agent releasing artificial bone grafting material. Dr. Brown is involved in both product fabrication for animal and clinical studies as well as new research and development at Intralink Spine. In a recent large animal in vivo biocompatibility study he performed the mechanical testing of the sheep intervertebral discs as well as other data analysis.
His research in the lab is currently focused on the development of a biodegradable suture coating for local delivery of a crosslinking agent to target tissues. The use of different biocompatible polymers allows us to tune the release rate of the crosslinker for our desired application.
Dr. Brown has two first author peer-reviewed publications, eight conference presentations, and was a recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) during his graduate work where he also earned a graduate certificate in Bioactive Interfaces and Devices. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.S. degree in Biology from Western Kentucky University.
John Golliher (Board of Directors Member)
Mr. Golliher-Principal of JRG Investments (Oct. 2015 to present) President, Beauty Systems Group LLC (BSG) of Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH), July 2006 to October 2015 (retired) and Board member of SBH 2013-2015. Mr. Golliher was appointed President of BSG upon the spin-off of Sally Beauty from Alberto-Culver in 2006 and the creation of BSG as a part of SBH. During this period BSG revenue grew from $850M to $1550M with an earnings growth of over 400%. Today BSG is recognized as the largest Professional distributor in the world with over 1250 stores and 1100 sales consultants serving professional stylists in North America, United Kingdom and parts of Western Europe. Mr. Golliher graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Med.
Mike Hammer (Board of Directors Member)
Mr. Hammer is a registered patent attorney in California with several years of experience in patent prosecution and litigation. He grew a solid waste and recycling company in southern California to over 20 million in annual revenue at which time it was acquired by a leading competitor. He has spent the last six years as an executive of Waste Management. He has many years of experience working with state and local governments securing operating permits, drafting ordinances and obtaining multi-million dollar contracts.
John Thorne (Board of Directors Member)
John serves on several company boards as a Director including several mid-size companies and nonprofit groups. He is an Adjunct Professor for Pepperdine University in Accounting. He has served as the Chief Operating Officer for Archibald Candy Corporation the parent company of Fannie May Candies with over 250 retail stores in 15 states and 600 employees.
Dale Williams (Board of Directors Member)
Mr. Williams- Principal at DEW Investments (August 2015 to present) Lexington, Kentucky Area. Prior to DEW, Dales was EVP and CFO at Tempur Sealy International (July 2003 – August 2015 (12 years 2 months)), Lexington, Kentucky Area. While at Tempur Sealy, Dale grew business from $300M to $3B in revenue; Led IPO; expanded global presence to 100 countries; Managed transformative acquisition of Sealy.
Medical Advisory Board
Mr. Gunnar B.J. Andersson, MD, PhD, Chair, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush-Presbyterian Medical Center, with over 200 academic publications and 150 books and book chapters. He was awarded the ISSLS Stryker Spine Lifetime Achievement Award..
Mr. Jay Grider, DO, PhD, Division Chief, Pain and Regional Anesthesia Medical Director, UK HealthCare Pain Services, Dr. Grider is an anesthesiologist who specializes in anesthesiology, interventional pain medicine, and pain medicine. Dr. Grider is licensed to practice in Ohio and Kentucky. He practices anesthesiology, interventional pain medicine, and pain medicine at the University of Kentucky..
Mr. Stephen Hochschuler, MD, Co-Founder, Chairman, Texas Back Institute, Past-President, SAS—The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery..
Mr. Hansen Yuan, MD, USCTC, Professor of Orthopedic and Neurological Surgery, State University of New York, Past-President, The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and North American Spine Society.
About Intralink-Spine, Inc. (ILS)
Formed to manufacture and exclusively sell the GENTIS injectable medical device to treat Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), chronic low back pain, and related spinal diseases such as scoliosis.
A significant opportunity exists to better serve both surgical and non-surgical patients by offering an injectable solution that directly strengthens disc tissues, improves disc nutritional flow, reduces neural compression caused by disc bulge, and corrects the cause of the
instability associated with spinal disc diseases without the cost and risk of surgery.