FDA Approved

Contact Us

About Polarean

Innovators in Lung Imaging

The Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Polarean, Inc. (together the “Group”) are revenue-generating, medical imaging technology companies operating in the high-resolution medical imaging space.

Polarean aspires to revolutionize pulmonary medicine by bringing the power and safety of MRI to the respiratory healthcare community in need of new solutions to evaluate lung function, diagnose disease, characterize disease progression, and monitor response to treatment.

By researching, developing, and commercializing novel imaging solutions with a non-invasive and radiation-free functional imaging platform, Polarean’s vision is to help address the global unmet medical needs of more than 500 million patients worldwide suffering with chronic respiratory disease. Polarean is a leader in the field of hyperpolarization science and has successfully developed the first and only hyperpolarized MRI contrast agent to be approved in the United States.

On December 23, 2022, the FDA granted approval for Polarean’s first drug device combination product, XENOVIEW™ (xenon Xe 129 hyperpolarized). 129Xe MRI is also currently being studied for visualization and quantification of gas exchange regionally in the smallest airways of the lungs, across the alveolar tissue membrane, and into the pulmonary bloodstream for future clinical indications.

Management Team

Christopher von Jako, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Chris von Jako is a technology-driven executive with 30 years of leadership and experience in the global medical device market, including specific expertise in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He is passionate about the development and commercialization of minimally invasive techniques to improve health and transform lives. During his career, Chris led organizations to improve profitability, performance, and value in early-stage, expansion, turnaround, and Fortune 500 environments with five entities resulting in a merger or acquisition.

Most recently, Chris served as President and CEO of BrainsWay, a publicly traded medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells advanced noninvasive neurostimulation treatments for mental health disorders. Prior to BrainsWay, he served as CEO of Dynatronics, a publicly traded medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells high-quality restorative products. Chris also served as President and CEO of NinePoint Medical and NeuroTherm and has held leadership roles with other leading medical device companies, including Integra LifeSciences, Covidien, Medtronic, and Radionics.

Chris holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Pécs Medical School (Pécs, Hungary), an MS degree in Radiological Sciences and Technology from the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts), and a double BS degree in Physics and Mathematics from Bates College (Lewiston, Maine). Additionally, he has served on several boards throughout his career and currently serves as an independent director on the board of nView medical, Inc.

Bastiaan Driehuys, PhD

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Basiaan Driehuys is a Professor of Radiology at Duke University and Chief Scientific Officer for Polarean. His research focuses on developing hyperpolarized noble gases – a new class of signal agent for MRI. He and his team developed the underlying technology of 129Xe hyperpolarization, as well as novel MR image acquisition, reconstruction and analysis strategies and how to apply them to problems in pulmonary medicine. His team is particularly focused on exploiting the unique properties of hyperpolarized 129Xe gas to image pulmonary ventilation and gas exchange in a single breath.

Dr. Driehuys holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Franklin & Marshall College and a PhD. in atomic physics from Princeton University.

Chuck Osborne

Chief Financial Officer

Chuck Osborne 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 Deloitte & Touche in 1988.

Alex Dusek

Chief Commercial Officer

Alex Dusek is leading the commercialization charge at Polarean, Inc. and has a deep background in bringing new medical technologies to market. When HIV/AIDS therapeutics was rapidly changing in the mid 1990s, he worked on the successful launch of several first-in-class antiviral medications at both Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Trimeris. In the 2000s, he led the market introductions of several pulmonary medicines. At United Therapeutics he led the successful launch of Adcirca (tadalafil), which overtook Pfizer’s Sildenafil as the market leader in the PDE5-inhibitor class in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Then, at Bayer Healthcare, Alex led the global brand strategy for the worldwide Adempas (riociguat) launch and the medical education initiatives for ventilation/perfusion imaging for Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH).

Alex received an undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, completed post-baccalaureate studies at Columbia University, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Kiarash Emami, PhD

Vice President, Technology and Applications

Kiarash is responsible for all aspects of medical device and imaging contrast technology, product development and applications. For more than two decades, as a researcher and an entrepreneur, he has been developing pulmonary clinical and research solutions based on hyperpolarized gas MRI technology, including the first clinical multi-breath ventilation imaging process and gas delivery device. As a co-founding member of Polarean, he leads the efforts to bring HPX products to research and clinical markets, and to develop collaborations with research organizations.

Kiarash holds a BS in mechanical engineering from KNT University of Technology (Tehran), an MS in bioengineering and a PhD in electrical and systems engineering, both from University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

Neil Wadehra

Vice President of Operations

Neil Wadehra is a healthcare industry professional with experience at both start-up and Fortune 500 medical device companies. He has an extensive background in the medical imaging space, both from an engineering and management perspective, including developing a new high-speed autofocus system for neurosurgical microscopy and leading a team of engineers to develop the first portable 3D high-definition surgical endoscopic system. His 2D high-definition system was awarded the 2008 Innovation of the Year from the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS).

Neil holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering & medical imaging from the University of London and an MBA in finance & healthcare management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Board of Directors

Christopher von Jako, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Chris von Jako is a technology-driven executive with 30 years of leadership and experience in the global medical device market, including specific expertise in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He is passionate about the development and commercialization of minimally invasive techniques to improve health and transform lives. During his career, Chris led organizations to improve profitability, performance, and value in early-stage, expansion, turnaround, and Fortune 500 environments with five entities resulting in a merger or acquisition.

Most recently, Chris served as President and CEO of BrainsWay, a publicly traded medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells advanced noninvasive neurostimulation treatments for mental health disorders. Prior to BrainsWay, he served as CEO of Dynatronics, a publicly traded medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells high-quality restorative products. Chris also served as President and CEO of NinePoint Medical and NeuroTherm and has held leadership roles with other leading medical device companies, including Integra LifeSciences, Covidien, Medtronic, and Radionics.

Chris holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Pécs Medical School (Pécs, Hungary), an MS degree in Radiological Sciences and Technology from the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts), and a double BS degree in Physics and Mathematics from Bates College (Lewiston, Maine). Additionally, he has served on several boards throughout his career and currently serves as an independent director on the board of nView medical, Inc.

Bastiaan Driehuys, PhD

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Bastiaan Driehuys is a Professor of Radiology at Duke University and Chief Scientific Officer for Polarean. His research focuses on developing hyperpolarized noble gases – a new class of signal agent for MRI. He and his team developed the underlying technology of 129Xe hyperpolarization, as well as novel MR image acquisition, reconstruction and analysis strategies and how to apply them to problems in pulmonary medicine. His team is particularly focused on exploiting the unique properties of hyperpolarized 129Xe gas to image pulmonary ventilation and gas exchange in a single breath.

Dr. Driehuys holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Franklin & Marshall College and a PhD. in atomic physics from Princeton University.

Chuck Osborne

Chief Financial Officer

Chuck Osborne 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 Deloitte & Touche in 1988.

Juergen Laucht

Non-Executive Director

Juergen Laucht has over 40 years of business experience in the chemical engineering industry. In 2011, he was named 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 on its Fuel Fabrication Works team and at Reactor Brennelement Union.

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 specialize 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, later adding the responsibilities of president for Global Business Services. There, he led the group’s transformation and helped to accelerate growth through a series of transactions worth more than $3 billion.

Daniel 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.

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 organization, in a variety of increasingly senior financial and planning roles. In 2007, he was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) of GE Healthcare, a position he held for eight years. 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.

Dr. Marcella ("Marcie") Ruddy

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 Program. 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 Blair 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 Advisor to the Pioneer Group Seed Fund and mentors early-stage companies in its venture development program.
Previously, he was a Partner at Bridge Valley Ventures and established Scottish Widows’ Investment Partnership’s venture capital fund program where he gained board experience in the UK, Europe and US.

Kenneth West

Chairman

Ken West has been involved at a senior level with six successful new companies in the medical technology field. He was CEO of Polarean prior to its merger with m2m Imaging, and continued as COO of the merged company until his retirement in 2020. Prior to Polarean, West held senior management positions at three other 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 then was acquired by Pfizer; COO at VetInsite, a healthcare information technology company that was acquired by MediMedia; and Biolex, a transgenic protein company, where he was a founder and the first president/COO.

Ken holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Partner with Polarean

Better lung imaging can help with optimizing treatment strategies.

Contact Information

Polarean is located in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina.

 

Physical Address:
2500 Meridian Pkwy #175
Durham, NC 27713
United States
Mailing Address:
PO Box 14805
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-4805
United States

 

 

Phone: +1-919-206-7900     Fax: +1-919-206-7901      Email: info@polarean.com

Careers at Polarean

Polarean celebrates diversity and believes that our different perspectives and unique competencies are critical to achieving continuous innovation.