Board of Directors

Kenneth West

Ken West began his career with Fortune 200 FMC Corporation in the 1980s, and since that time he has been involved at a senior level with five successful new companies in the medical technology field.

Mr West held senior management positions at three venture-capital backed start-ups, including Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Embrex, Inc., a drug delivery company that went public and was acquired by Pfizer, Inc., Chief Operating Officer at VetInsite, a health care information technology company that was acquired by MediMedia and Biolex, a transgenic protein company, where he was a co-founder and the first President/Chief Operating Officer. The company raised more than US$180 million in venture capital and was acquired by Synthon BV. Mr West has also led the US subsidiaries of two European medical device companies as they entered the US market, including Curasan AG and Tem International GmbH. As President of each of these US companies, Mr West built and managed the US organisations, growing them into multi-million dollar subsidiaries with direct sales forces to physician offices and hospitals.

Mr West holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Christopher von Jako
Chief Executive Officer

With 30 years of global healthcare leadership experience, Dr. von Jako has led both private and publicly listed businesses, with a proven track record of commercialization while developing and executing sound business and operating strategies. He has experience across a multitude of healthcare sectors, including radiology, pulmonology, and various surgical interventions.

Prior to this, Dr. von Jako was CEO of Dynatronics (NASDAQ: DYNT), a medical device company providing restorative products to accelerate optimal health, from 2018 to 2019, where he developed a new growth strategy focused on driving sales, business development, and proactive investor relations. Before joining Dynatronics, Dr. von Jako served as President and CEO of NinePoint Medical, Inc., a medical imaging company, where he successfully secured a significant strategic investment and long-term partnership with Merit Medical Systems, Inc. He also served as President and CEO of NeuroTherm, Inc., a pain management business until its acquisition by St. Jude Medical Corporation. Earlier in his career, Dr. von Jako worked in senior executive roles of progressive responsibility with other leading medical device companies such as Integra LifeSciences, Covidien, Medtronic, and Radionics.

Dr. von Jako will continue to serve as an Independent Director on the Board of nView medical Inc., a privately held MedTech imaging company that generates real-time 3D images using advanced AI solutions for surgery. He earned a double B.S. degree from Bates College, an M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pécs Medical School.

Chuck Osborne
Chief Financial Officer

Chuck joined Polarean in April 2019 as Chief Financial Officer. He was previously at Innocrin Pharmaceuticals Inc (“Innocrin”), a privately held oncology therapeutics company where he was CFO since 2015. Prior to his role at Innocrin, Chuck was CFO of Scynexis Inc, a publicly traded anti-infective company between 2003 and 2015.  Chuck holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a Concentration in Accounting, from University of North Carolina. He is a Certified Public Accountant and began his accounting career at Deloittie & Touche in 1988.

Bastiaan Driehuys, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Bastiaan Driehuys invented hyperpolarised gas MRI while completing his Doctorate in Atomic Physics at Princeton University. In 1996, Dr Driehuys helped to start MITI, a company founded to commercialise hyperpolarised gas technology. In 1999, Dr Driehuys became Chief Executive Officer of the company, managed its acquisition for US$15 million by Amersham and he remained with the company as Director of the Research Triangle Park Facility until 2003. In this senior management position he oversaw all hyperpolarised gas physics and applications research. He served on the Amersham Global Imaging Management Team, which was broadly responsible for the company's diagnostic imaging research efforts for all modalities and disease areas. In 2004, Dr Driehuys returned to academia at Duke University, where he is now a Professor of Radiology, Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. His research programme has been focused on driving the clinical translation of HPX MRI and exploiting the unique properties of this atom for functional and molecular imaging.

Dr Driehuys completed his Ph.D. in Atomic Physics and his post-doctoral work at Princeton University after receiving his BA summa cum laude in physics from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

He has authored more than 50 publications in the areas of hyperpolarisation physics and biological applications. He holds 32 granted US patents and is a co-recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, as well as the Tibbetts Award for Outstanding Small Business Scientific Accomplishment.

Juergen Laucht
Non-Executive Director

Juergen Laucht has over 40 years of business experience in the chemical engineering industry. In 2011 Mr Laucht took on the role of Managing Director of NUKEM Isotopes, prior to which he was the General Manager for Research Reactors & Stable Isotopes for NUKEM. Prior to joining NUKEM in 1995, Mr Laucht held positions at Siemens in their Fuel Fabrication Works team and at Reactor Brennelement Union, both in Germany.

Mr Laucht has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Cyrille Petit
Non-Executive Director

Cyrille Petit began his career at Goldman Sachs and went on to specialise in external growth, mergers and acquisitions, and strategy at General Electric, where he worked for 15 years. In 2012, he joined the executive committee of Smith & Nephew PLC as Chief Corporate Development Officer, and later added the responsibilities of President, Global Business Services. There, he led the group’s transformation and helped to accelerate growth through a series of transactions worth in excess of US$3B

Frank Schulkes 
Non-Executive Director

Frank Schulkes joined the Board of Polarean as a Non-Executive Director in April 2022. Frank is a seasoned financial expert with a broad background in corporate finance. He previously spent 27 years with GE, of which 18 of those was with GE Healthcare, a global medical technology, life sciences and services organisation, in a variety of increasingly senior financial and planning roles. Most recently, Frank was CFO of ConvaTec Group Plc., a global medical products and technologies company focused on therapies for the management of chronic conditions, with leading market positions in advanced wound care, ostomy care, continence & critical care, and infusion care. Prior to that he was CFO of Wittur Group, a privately-held industrial company based in Germany.

Frank graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters in Business Economics from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Dan Brague 
Non-Executive Director

Dan Brague joined the Board of Polarean as a Non-Executive Director in May 2022.  Dan is a highly accomplished executive leader with a background focused on enterprise growth and value creation.  He has spent 25+ years in the Healthcare sector with the last 22 years in diagnostic imaging.  His most recent role was as CEO of Curium North America, a leading global manufacturer of radiopharmaceuticals.  Dan has led teams in the development and launch of new products that have had a transformative impact on those businesses.  He has experience with both public and private equity ownership.  He played key roles in the divestiture of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceutical’s Radiopharmaceutical business, the creation of Curium and M&A to grow that business.  Dan has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse.

Marcella Ruddy, M.D. 
Non-Executive Director

Dr. Ruddy has over 15 years of experience in the development of respiratory and other therapeutic compounds across all stages of clinical development from translational through post approval. She has held multiple senior management positions over her career to date, including Merck & Co., Inc., Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc and at Tectonic Therapeutic where she has been employed as Chief Medical Officer since July 2021.  Dr. Ruddy is a board-certified pulmonologist who prior to entry into drug development, held a staff position in the Pulmonary Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she founded and directed the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Programme. Earlier in her career, she completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship training at Harvard Medical School and associated medical centres.

Dr. Ruddy holds an AB (Bachelor of Arts) from Princeton University and an MD (Doctor of Medicine) from Washington University, St Louis.

Bill Blair
Non-Executive Director

Bill is a highly experienced investment professional focused on early-stage companies in both public and private markets. He is Chair of the Audit Committee of North East Finance and a Non-Executive Director of the North East Technology Fund. He also represents the North East Technology Fund on the board of the  pharmaceutical company Iksuda. Bill is also an Adviser to the Pioneer Group Seed Fund and mentors early-stage companies in its venture development programme.

Previously, he was a Partner at Bridge Valley Ventures and established Scottish Widows’ Investment Partnership’s venture capital fund programme where he gained board experience in the UK, Europe and US. 



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