ISTO Has New President and CEO
Walter Eisner • Tue, January 14th, 2014
George Dunbar, Jr. is taking over as CEO and president of ISTO Technologies, Inc. Mitchell Seyedin, Ph.D., will become Executive Chairman of the company’s board of directors.
Dunbar has over 25 years of experience in the field of life science tools, diagnostics and medical devices as an investment banker, president, CEO and board chairman.
He is a venture partner with Arboretum Ventures. Before that he was president, CEO, and later chairman of Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. He previously served as chief executive officer of numerous public and venture-backed life science companies, leading several through a successful turn-around, initial public offering, and/or their acquisition; worked with several national venture capital investment firms; and held senior positions in licensing, business development and marketing with The Ares-Serono Group and Amersham International.
“George Dunbar’s proven leadership and broad experience, along with his recognized skill as a strategic change agent, will help build value for ISTO and drive wider recognition of our cell-based cartilage products, as well as other products in clinical development that are soon to be introduced,” said Dr. Seyedin. “His entrepreneurial approach to building healthcare and bioscience companies, as well as his emphasis on individual and team accountability, makes him superbly suited to this role. We are pleased to have him as a member of our senior management team.”
According to the company’s January 9 press release:
Concurrent with his role at Arboretum Ventures, Dunbar founded a management consulting practice, The Dunbar Group, to mentor and guide early stage healthcare management teams on capital efficiency, creating market value, and execution of timely liquidity events for investors.
From 2006 to 2010, Dunbar was CEO and director, then Chairman of the Board, of Aastrom Biosciences, a clinical development stage healthcare company. Under his leadership, management brought the company to financial stability with stronger intellectual property and technology, and shifted the company’s focus in cell therapy, to areas with greater clinical need and higher commercial potential. Three new cardiovascular programs were developed and progressing through Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, at which point Dunbar became Executive Chairman of Accuri Cytometers, Inc. and joined Arboretum Ventures.
Mr. Dunbar held broad operating and director roles at emerging healthcare and life science companies including DepoTech, Epic Therapeutics, LJL Biosystems, Metrika, Molecular Probes, StemCells, Inc., Quantum Dot and Quidel. Earlier in his career, he held senior leadership positions Amersham International (now GE Healthcare) and The Ares Serono Group (now Merck Serono).
He holds an MBA degree and B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University, and serves on its College of Business MBA Advisory Board. He is a director of Capricor Therapeutics (cardiac cell therapy/CAPR), Diagnovus (molecular diagnostic information services), and several of Arboretum Ventures’ portfolio companies, including CerviLenz, IntelliCyt and KFx Medical. He was recently appointed an Advisor to Ryan Search Consulting, and to Vanderbilt University’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Council.
ISTO is a privately held orthobiologics company founded in 1997. Dr. Seyedin joined the company as president and CEO in 2003. The company develops proprietary products for spinal therapies and sport medicine applications. ISTO’s products are intended for the repair and regeneration of damaged or injured cartilage and bone. The company’s proprietary cell-based orthobiologic platform harnesses the regenerative capacity of juvenile cartilage cells to create products designed to repair and restore function to damaged cartilage tissue. In addition to cell-based cartilage products in clinical development, ISTO manufactures and markets InQu, a bone graft extender and substitute for spinal fusion applications that has been used in over 28,000 surgeries at U.S. hospitals to date.