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About Polarean

Innovators in Lung Imaging

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

The Group develops equipment that enables existing MRI systems to achieve an improved level of pulmonary function imaging and specializes in the use of hyperpolarized xenon gas (129Xe) as an imaging agent to visualize ventilation. 129Xe gas is currently being studied for visualization of gas exchange regionally in the smallest airways of the lungs, across the alveolar tissue barrier, and into the pulmonary bloodstream.

In October 2020, the Group submitted a New Drug Application (“NDA”) to the FDA for hyperpolarized 129Xe used to evaluate pulmonary function and to visualize the lung using MRI. The Group received a complete response letter on 5 October 2021.

The Group operates in an area of significant unmet medical need and the Group’s technology provides a novel investigational diagnostic approach, offering a non-invasive and radiation-free functional imaging platform. The annual economic burden of pulmonary disease in the US is estimated to be over $150 billion.

 

Management Team

Richard Hullihen

Chief Executive Officer

Before joining Polarean, Hullihen spent more than 30 years in medical imaging with GEC-Picker International and Marconi Medical Systems creating their CT and MR businesses before starting m2m Imaging with Amphion Innovations. He has broad experience in medical imaging technology management, engineering, sales and marketing, manufacturing, and business development, in the United States and internationally.

Hullihen holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Western Michigan University and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Case Western Reserve University.

Bastiaan Driehuys, PhD

Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Driehuys is a Professor of Radiology at Duke University and Chief Technology 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.

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

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, Osborne was CFO of Scynexis Inc., a publicly traded anti-infective company between 2003 and 2015.

Osborne 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

Vice President of Commercialization

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, Dusek 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).

Dusek 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.

Kirash Emami, PhD

Vice President, Technology and Applications

Emami is responsible for all aspects of medical device technology, product development and technical support efforts to bring these products to clinical market, while developing collaborations with academic researchers. For more than 18 years, he has been both a user and a lead developer of HP gas technology and a number of its applications in lung MRI. He led numerous HP gas MRI projects, including the first multibreath-specific ventilation imaging protocol in humans along with a patent-pending proprietary HP gas delivery device.

Emami holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from KNT University of Technology (Tehran), a master’s degree in bioengineering and a PhD in electrical and systems engineering, both from University of Pennsylvania.

Neil Wadehra

Vice President of Operations

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).

Wadehra 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

Richard Hullihen

Chief Executive Officer

Before joining Polarean, Hullihen spent more than 30 years in medical imaging with GEC-Picker International and Marconi Medical Systems creating their CT and MR businesses before starting m2m Imaging with Amphion Innovations. He has broad experience in medical imaging technology management, engineering, sales and marketing, manufacturing, and business development, in the United States and internationally.

Hullihen holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Western Michigan University and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Case Western Reserve University.

Bastiaan Driehuys, PhD

Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Driehuys is a Professor of Radiology at Duke University and Chief Technology 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.

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

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, Osborne was CFO of Scynexis Inc., a publicly traded anti-infective company between 2003 and 2015.

Osborne 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

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, Laucht held positions at Siemens on its Fuel Fabrication Works team and at Reactor Brennelement Union.

Laucht has a degree in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Jonathan Allis

Non-Executive Chairman

Allis is the founding CEO of Blue Earth Diagnostics. He has also served as the general manager for PET at GE Healthcare Life Sciences and had global responsibility for GE Healthcare’s PET agent and PET synthesis platforms business. He previously held positions in research and development, marketing and product development at GE Healthcare, Amersham plc, Siemens Medical Solutions and Oxford Magnet Technology in the United Kingdom, United States and Germany.

Allis has an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Cape Town and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Oxford.

Kenneth West

Non-Executive Director

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.

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

Cyrille Petit

Non-Executive Director

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.

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.