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Robert S. ("Bob") Ward Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree from University of Massachusetts Lowell

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 9:01am
The Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 28, 2012-- Emergence Venture Partners , a venture firm that is focused on the application of novel biomedical polymer technology in the development of medical devices and prosthetic implants, announced today that Bob Ward, Chairman, has received an honorary doctorate degree from University of Massachusetts Lowell in recognition of his pioneering role in inventing and developing novel applications of various biomaterials for their use in critically important medical devices.

Mr. Ward has nearly 40 years of novel biomedical polymer development experience, and his inventions have become the enabling technology for many medical devices being marketed today. For his numerous achievements, Mr. Ward was previously received the "2006 Excellence in Surface Science Award" by the Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation, an acknowledgement of his lifetime of contributions to the field of surface sciences in the development of biomedical polyurethane for cardiovascular and other applications; a career that spans the early days of the intraaortic balloon pumps and ventricular assist devices to modern- day spinal implants. He has made significant contributions to the field of medical devices, exemplified by the introduction of Biospan(R), Bionate(R), and Elasthane(TM) as high-quality, well-defined replacement biomaterials at a crucial time when legal pressures led to the complete absence of these materials from the medtech marketplace. His contributions also include silicone-urethane copolymers and the development of the highly novel Surface Modifying End Group technology, allowing device manufacturers to specify particular surface interfacial chemistries while retaining the desirable bulk properties of the base polymer. These achievements by Mr. Ward continue to advance the science and engineering of biomaterials interface.

"When Bob co-founded his previous company, the Polymer Technology Group (PTG), in 1989, there was a medical device crisis looming," said George Pitarra, Jr., President and Managing Director, Emergence Venture Partners. "Suppliers of materials used to make medical devices-'biomaterials'-were alarmed by massive class action lawsuits.

These lawsuits, which were primarily related to bodily injury from temporomandibular (TMJ) and breast implants, convinced material suppliers to pull out of the medical market. This left medical device manufacturers high and dry: Where would they get the specialized biomaterials necessary to make their artificial hearts, pacemakers and intraaotic balloons? This huge void was filled by the Polymer Technology Group, led by Bob Ward. Emergence is extremely proud of Bob and his honorary doctorate degree from a great university." Emergence Venture Partners is a Berkeley, Calif.-based venture capital firm that is focused on the application of novel biomaterials technology for the development of medical devices. The firm's founders not only have deep expertise in the intricacies of polymer chemistry, but also they understand the material requirements for a specific application of use -allowing Emergence to lend this knowledge to its portfolio companies in order to jump-start their R&D process.

CONTACT: Ronald Trahan Associates Inc.

Ronald Trahan, APR, 508-359-4005, x108 KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH BIOTECHNOLOGY CARDIOLOGY MEDICAL DEVICES GENERAL HEALTH SOURCE: Emergence Venture Partners Copyright Business Wire 2012 PUB: 06/28/2012 09:00 AM/DISC: 06/28/2012 09:00 AM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120628005290/

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