Fluid Biomed is a medical device start-up founded by two neurosurgeons at the University of Calgary that has developed an implantable dissolving stent to divert blood flow and heal blood vessels. The desire to innovate and create positive change has always been a priority for the founders and inventors, Dr. John Wong and Dr. Alim Mitha. Working together for the past two decades to help people with stroke, their drive and commitment to improve patient health sparked a vision to create a radical new stent to cure brain aneurysms without invasive surgery.
Guided by their clinical experience in the operating room towards a goal of minimizing side effects and complications, years of research and development in Dr. Mitha’s biomedical engineering laboratory has made the concept a reality. The company has transitioned the stent from proof of concept towards final prototyping and validation of their unique technology.
With the support of its partners, Fluid Biomed is achieving significant scientific, regulatory, and financing milestones along the pathway of product development. Fluid Biomed is well positioned to disrupt the stent market, and ultimately improve the quality of life and well-being of patients everywhere.
President, Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder
Dr. Alim P. Mitha is an associate professor at the University of Calgary. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and after graduating from medical school at the University of Alberta, completed his residency training in Neurosurgery at the University of Calgary. During that time, he also completed a Masters of Science degree with a focus on Biomedical Engineering at Harvard University and a research fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Thereafter, he completed an additional two years of clinical subspecialty training at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Spetzler. Since 2011, he has been practicing as a Cerebrovascular, Endovascular, and Skull Base Neurosurgeon at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. He is the scientific leader of a research laboratory at the University of Calgary affiliated with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Libin Cardiovascular Institute, that focuses on biomedical device development.
CEO and Co-founder
Dr. John H. Wong is an associate professor in the Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Radiology at the Cumming School of Medicine. He serves as Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery and maintains a busy clinical practice almost exclusively dedicated to treating brain aneurysms and stroke. Dr. Wong received his medical education and neurosurgical training at the University of Alberta. After a one-year fellowship in neurovascular surgery at Yale University and further two-year specialization in interventional neuroradiology in New York City, he was recruited to Calgary in 2001. Since then, he has helped develop one of the most collaborative and productive neurovascular and stroke units in North America with colleagues in neurology, radiology, and neurosurgery.
Dr. Wong has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts and has served on several grant review panels including for the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. He has held numerous local and national leadership roles including the provincial past president of the Alberta Neurosurgical Society for over a decade, previous Division Head of Neurosurgery at the University of Calgary, and is the current Vice President of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society. Dr. Wong received his MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a double major in Finance and Entrepreneurship & Innovation and was conferred the Dean’s Leadership Award.
Vice President, Business Development
Rahim S. Nathu completed his BComm at the University of Calgary and is a former North American energy trader with over 18 years of experience. In the last five years, Rahim has been spearheading and advising investment on behalf of family offices in early-stage companies, including those in med tech and digital health. This endeavor has allowed Rahim to establish a well-connected network within the local innovation and angel investment community, while maintaining a strong presence in the overall start-up ecosystem. Rahim recently completed a Corporate Finance certificate from Harvard Extension School.
Alessandra Bosco has experience in biology basic research and early drug development ranging from project strategy development and experimental design to administrating an academic research laboratory. Alessandra previously obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the University of Bologna in Italy and a master’s degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge. She has recently graduated from the Master of Biomedical Technology (MBT) program at the Cumming School of Medicine in the University of Calgary, where she learned to integrate her scientific knowledge with practical skills and business concepts of the biotechnology industry.
Senior Quality Engineer
Jillian joined Fluid Biomed after many years in industry moving ideas from the concept stage to full-scale manufacturing, including FDA Class III medical devices such as stent grafts and heart valves. After completing a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, she worked in heavy industry focusing on solving material, testing, and processing problems. Jillian then completed a Masters in Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York state with a focus on tissue-implant interactions. She also worked with Albany Medical Centre conducting preclinical studies including combination drug-device implants. Jillian is an ASQ-certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and brings a design for manufacturing mindset to development projects. As a registered Professional Engineer, she is an active volunteer with the provincial engineering association, holding branch executive and committee positions and is a frequent STEM career path speaker to local student groups.
Ehsan joined Fluid Biomed after finishing his NSERC-funded postdoctoral research at McGill University working on organic and inorganic biomedical materials and devices as well as their interaction with physiological fluids including blood. During this time, he also obtained his Professional Engineer license after years of close collaboration with the relevant industries. He completed his Ph.D. at Concordia University working on the development of highly porous PLLA/Bioglass® scaffolds with enhanced bioactivity, morphological, and mechanical properties. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering from the University of Tehran, Ehsan has knowledge and experience in processing, manufacturing, and characterization of various classes of materials.
Hisham has 15 years of extensive experience providing financial oversight and business insight to companies across many industries. He started his career in public accounting and gained extensive experience in financial reporting, accounting standards, auditing, and taxation. After seven years, Hisham transitioned to industry and worked with some of the largest North American companies. During this time Hisham developed expertise in internal business functions which has made him a well-rounded accounting and finance professional.
Davis completed a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. During his masters, Davis explored the relationship between ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm hemodynamics and arterial wall biomechanical properties. This work allowed him to gain experience in computational methods, imaging, and the characterization of arterial wall properties.
David completed his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Thereafter, he gained over 10 years of knowledge and experience in the energy and chemical manufacturing industries in the fields of Maintenance & Reliability, Project Management, and Field Engineering. During that time, he also completed his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at University of Toronto to pivot his career towards the medical device industry. David then worked in research and development within musculoskeletal healthcare. He implemented CAPA related activities and helped with obtaining two 510(k) clearances from the FDA for patient-specific surgical guides and a personalized robotic system. David has experience in technical design, verification activities, design transfer to suppliers, and post-market surveillance.
Graciela is a third-year student at the University of Calgary majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Biomedical Engineering. Graciela has received two NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards over the last two summers. During her summer studentships Graciela studied AC electrothermal technique for lab-on-a-chip applications and presented her work at the Alberta Biomedical Engineering Conference.
Biomedical Operations Student
Himasha is a 4th year undergraduate student at the University of Alberta majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Business. Last summer she served as a Junior Economic Development Officer for Wood Buffalo Economic Development and Tourism, where she assisted in launching the first ever innovation hub for the region, Start-Up YMM. Currently, she is involved as a student researcher at the University of Alberta's Respiratory Centre and is a part of the Strategy Team at Front Row Ventures, a student led VC fund.
Eric graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Prior to joining Fluid Biomed, Eric gained extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare product industries that ranges from site licensing (GMP, Drug Establishment, and Controlled Substance Licenses), manufacturing, to storage and distribution. As a Quality and Compliance professional, Eric is knowledgeable in international GxP guidelines, administering electronic Quality Management Systems to streamline efficiency, and implementing corrective and preventative action plans to drive continuous improvements. Eric's unique skillset and background has enabled him to add value to organizations and contribute to their success from a Quality and Compliance perspective.
Roberta is a registered professional engineer and certified PMP with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Education from University of Ottawa and Master of Food Science from Dalhousie University. She brings with her decades of experience from roles in Quality Assurance, Project Management, Manufacturing Engineering, and Tech Transfer within regulated industries including pharmaceutical, medical device, water treatment, and food and beverage. She is a certified Quality Engineer with Greenbelts in Lean and Six Sigma. Roberta has also shared her enthusiasm for STEM careers and professional development by teaching post-secondary technical studies in full-time and part-time capacities at Red River College and University of Winnipeg.
Dr. Hunter’s career has revolved around examining ways to make implantable medical devices “bioactive” and “smarter” leveraging technologies borrowed from other industries such as pharmaceutical coatings, surface modification and sensor technologies. As an inventor with over 200 patents and patent applications to his name, he has been involved in the invention and development of the TAXUS® Drug-Eluting Coronary Stent, the Zilver PTX Peripheral Drug-Eluting Stent, and the Quill barbed wound closure device; combined these products have been used in over 40 million patients and recorded revenues exceeding $25 billion.
Previously, Dr. Hunter co-founded and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (1992-2011). After founding the company while a medical student in 1992, he grew the company to become a profitable and diversified device company with over 1,400 employees, several thousand commercially available products, and 12 facilities in 5 countries. His latest venture, Canary Medical, utilizes implanted sensor, battery and transmission technology to create “smart” implanted medical devices that can “self-report” on function, activity, wear, complications and patient outcomes for up to 20 years.
Professor, Neurosurgeon, and Interventional Neuroradiologist
Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira is a neurosurgeon and interventional neuroradiologist specialized in minimally invasive procedures of the intracranial and spinal circulation and percutaneous spinal interventions for pain management.
Dr. Pereira is a Professor of Medical Imaging and Surgery at the University of Toronto, and Director of Endovascular Research and Innovation at St. Michael's Hospital. He did his residency in Sao Paulo, Brazil and his clinical fellowship in France (CHU Bicetre and Rothschild Foundation). Dr Pereira has worked as the Head of Interventional Neuroradiology division and Privat-Docent at the University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland from 2008 to 2014. As a pioneer in the use of novel medical devices, he also leads a laboratory well-versed in the scientific evaluation of stents and endovascular technologies.
Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs Expert
Austin Griggs is a seasoned medical device leader with over a decade of broad experience in operations, quality, and regulatory approval of Class II and Class III devices. With a specific focus on new devices for patients with limited existing treatment options, Austin has worked collaboratively with regulatory bodies around the world to ensure adequate safety data supports the use of these novel treatments.
Austin is past Director of Quality at Edwards Lifesciences, a global leader in patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease and critical care monitoring. He is currently Head of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs (Americas Region) at Align Technology where he leads a team of >1200 dispersed over 7 locations in North America. He earned a Master of Science degree in Biomedical and Translational Science from the University of California, Irvine, and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Technology Lawyer and Investor
Ron Fernando is a technology lawyer and experienced angel investor based in Silicon Valley. With respect to industry verticals, his current interests include consumer brands, B2B SaaS, fintech, cyber security, medical devices, and sparse computing. For many of the companies that he invests in, Ron has helped them define market opportunities, refine pitch materials for raising venture capital, and better understand and negotiate with professional services vendors to conserve capital and reduce costs.
PROFESSOR & INTERVENTIONAL NEURORADIOLOGIST
Mayank Goyal, MD PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary and the Director of Imaging and Endovascular treatment at the Calgary Stroke Program, one of the world’s most renowned stroke programs. Dr. Goyal’s passion and main research interest is acute stroke imaging, workflow and intervention. With 285 peer-review manuscripts (including NEJM, Lancet Neurology, Radiology, Circulation, ANJR, Stroke), >35 editorials and opinion pieces, over 300 abstracts and >200 invite lectureships, Mayank has been an integral contributor in furthering the field of Stroke intervention research. He was one of the Principal Investigators in two global multi-centric trials in the field: ESCAPE and SWIFT PRIME (both published in NEJM). A citation index of 39177, an h-index of 73 and an i10 index of 380 (Google scholar, Jan 2021) are testimony to Dr. Goyal’s vast contribution and influence in the world of Stroke research. Bestowed with several honours and awards including the Outstanding Contributions in Research Award (American Society of Neuroradiology, 2020), and the Lifetime Contribution Award (Canadian Association of Radiology, 2018), Mayank continues to weave and expand the worldwide teaching network in the fields of Stroke imaging and intervention.
Co-founder, President and CTO, Fluid Biomed
Co-founder and CEO, Fluid Biomed
Corporate Lawyer and Entrepreneur
Murray Coleman is senior partner at Bennett Jones LLP and head of the firm's franchise practice group and co-head of the agribusiness, food & beverage practice group. Murray's practice focuses on commercial transactions, business law, private company mergers and acquisitions, banking, and franchise matters. He advises clients on matters relating to financings, secured transactions, asset and share purchase agreements and corporate structuring and organization. He is a member of both the Canadian Franchise Association and the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising. Murray is on the board of directors of a number of public and private boards.
Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist
Brian Sidman is a co-founder and principal at METIS Innovative, a venture capital firm focused on investments in early-stage neuroscience medical device and technology companies. He is also founder of BAS Holdings, an entrepreneurial Real Estate ESG focused investment, development and management firm headquartered in Miami, FL. Brian is a board member of BundleFi, Inc. a financial technology start-up, a former board member of a charitable foundation that donated over $16,300,000.00 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN and former board member of Lux Home, Inc. DBA Pella Windows and Doors NJ/NY. He is also a Society member at Mount Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach.
Advisor and Venture Capitalist
Chaucer Shen is Managing Partner at ShangBay Capital and has more than 20 years of medical device industry and investment experience. He started his career as a practicing physician. Prior to joining Shangbay Capital, he was a senior investment advisor at Legend Star, a leading healthcare VC firm, where he was responsible for deal sourcing, providing advisory services on the technical aspects of potential target companies, and worked closely with the investment team on market risks and company valuation, finalizing investment deals together with the team and the board. Chaucer has worked with a number of renowned international medical device companies, demonstrating his superb in-depth medical device industry knowledge and unmatched leadership to execute deals and grow businesses. His reputation with government agencies and healthcare communities has made it easier to communicate and help resolve any business challenges between portfolio companies and government regulators. Chaucer holds an M.D. degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University Medical School.