Board of Directors
Fred M. Schwarzer, Executive Chairman, Board of Directors
Mr. Schwarzer currently serves as executive chair on Amaranth Medical, Inc.’s Board of Directors. He is a founder and managing partner of Charter Life Sciences (CLS), a life science-focused venture capital fund. Prior to his founding CLS, Mr. Schwarzer was chief executive officer and then chairman of Heska (HSKA). During his tenure at Heska, he completed corporate partnerships with two large pharmaceutical companies, completed seven acquisitions and completed Heska’s initial public offering and follow-on public offering. During this time, Heska also obtained its first FDA approval, launched its first products, created its sales and marketing effort, and grew its revenue to approximately $40 million. He began his professional career as an attorney representing technology companies and venture capitalists. In 1985, he was made a partner with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury), and in 1988 he founded the firm of General Counsel Associates (now GCA Law Partners).
Mr. Schwarzer holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and a BA from the University of Michigan.
Kamal Ramzipoor, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Ramzipoor is the president and chief executive officer of Amaranth Medical, Inc. He oversees all aspects of the company’s operations, including research and development, global manufacturing operations, regulatory, clinical and finance. Kamal has spent more than 28 years developing products and technologies for the medical device industry.
Prior to co-founding Amaranth, he served as the director of the ischemic stroke franchise for the Neurovascular Division of Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC), where he was responsible for developing and managing a portfolio of “best in class” intravascular devices for the treatment of stroke. Before joining BSC, he was chief technology officer and vice president of research and development at Micrus Endovascular Corporation (acquired by Johnson & Johnson). Mr. Ramzipoor’s previous positions include senior director of research and development at Acuson Corporation (acquired by Siemens) and director of research and development at Progressive Angioplasty Systems (acquired by US Surgical).
Earlier in his career, Mr. Ramzipoor held various engineering and management positions at Guidant and BSC. Prior to entering the medical device field, he spent several years in the aerospace industry, developing polymer-based, high-strength composites for a variety of applications. Mr. Ramzipoor received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Detroit Institute of Technology and is an inventor and author on more than 100 US patents and publications.
Heng Tong Choo
Heng Tong holds dual appointments as executive vice president (Investments) at EDBI and Bio*One Capital, its dedicated biomedical sciences investment subsidiary. He is responsible for EDBI’s strategic growth capital for local companies as well as venture investments in biomedical sciences, and smart sustainable technologies. He also oversees EDBI’s operations in the United States. He has more than 15 years in investments and industry development experience, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, business development, and international growth into new markets involving both multi-national and start-up organizations. He was previously with Singapore Economic Development Board where he worked with various industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and engineering companies to grow their business and operations in Asia.
Christine Pillsbury has more than 19 years of experience in renown financial institutions in the Asia Pacific region, including UBS, Rabobank and Lloyd George Asset Management, with roles spanning portfolio management, private equity and equity research. She is currently a director at DCP Management Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based private equity advisory firm.
She is a chartered financial analyst and holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction (cum laude) from Princeton University.
Mr. Koo is an executive director with Phillip Private Equity. Phillip Private Equity is the private equity unit of the Phillip Capital Group, a financial services group with presence in 16 countries. Its investment portfolio ranges from high technology startups to pre-IPO transactions. Mr. Koo’s main foci are in the offshore energy, marine and biotech sectors. Mr. Koo was a former officer at the Economic Development Board of Singapore. He served under the Enterprise Development Division.
Mr. Koo obtained his MBA from the Imperial College, University of London. He graduated with a bachelor in mechanical engineering from the National University of Singapore in 1995.
Donald C. Harrison, M.D.
Dr. Harrison is professor of medicine and senior vice president and provost for health affairs emeritus at the University of Cincinnati. From 1986 to 2002, he was senior vice president and provost for health affairs and directed the university’s medical center, which included more than 1,000 faculty members and over $240 million in funded research. He was one of the organizers of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, an affiliation of major university and community medical centers, and he served as its chairman of the board for a two-year period after its founding. Prior to 1986, Dr. Harrison was professor of medicine and cardiology, chief of the division of cardiology, and co-director of the Falk Cardiovascular Research Center of Stanford University, where he also served as chief of cardiology for 20 years. During his 24 years at Stanford, he trained 156 post-doctoral cardiology fellows, many of which now head their own departments.
Among his many professional honors and achievements, Dr. Harrison served as president of the American Heart Association, vice president and trustee of the American College of Cardiology, and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He has also been a member of the editorial boards of 13 professional journals and has authored eight books and more than 585 scientific articles and reviews. His most recent book, “Healing Broken Hearts,” is the story of his life in cardiology development for more than 50 years.
Currently, Dr. Harrison is a managing partner at Charter Life Sciences, a clinical stage life sciences venture capital firm based in Santa Clara, California. He is also a director of AtriCure, Sidis, Inc., Surgical Energetics, Ischemia Care, Enable Injections, and Medical Education and Consultation. Prior to their successful acquisitions, he was director of InControl, EP Technologies, and SciMed. He was also a founder, or co-founder, of EP Technologies, Vesta, AtriCure, and two life science incubators, Bio/Start and Venturi Group.
Dr. Harrison received a B.S. in chemistry from Birmingham Southern College, an M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and an honorary Doctor of Law from Birmingham Southern College. He received his training in medicine and cardiology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital of the Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health.
Freddy Y C Boey, Ph.D.
Dr. Boey is a co-founder of Amaranth Medical, Inc and is the current deputy president and provost at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. From 2005-2010, he was chair of NTU’s School of Materials Science & Engineering, building the school into one of the world’s largest research intensive materials science and engineering departments. He has made significant research contributions in the use of functional biomaterials for developing medical devices capable of drug release for cardiovascular, ocular, and surgical implants. Dr. Boey holds 27 primary patents, many of which have been licensed to the five venture-backed, start-up companies he has founded. These patents derive from the research platform he built at NTU, based on the major grants he championed and won. In the last four years, he received more than $42 million in grants, including a prestigious $10 million individual National Research Foundation (NRF) grant for his work on fully biodegradable cardiovascular implants, and a $20 million NRF Technion-Singapore grant for his research in nanomedicine for cardiovascular diseases. Among his many accolades, Dr. Boey was awarded Singapore’s Public Administration Silver Medal by the Government of Singapore in 2010. He is a founding fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore and serves as a board director in IPOS, under the Ministry of Law, and in the Defense Science Organization under the Ministry of Defense.
Dr. Boey received a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering from Monash University and a Ph.D. in chemistry and engineering from National University of Singapore.
Mr. Simpson is a seasoned and accomplished entrepreneur, leader, advisor, and investor in the medical and medical device arena and leverages more than 40 years experience in the field. His journey in the medical device world began at Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, where he was a founder and assumed significant clinical and operational leadership as vice president of research and development. ACS was successfully sold to Eli Lilly in 1984. After ACS, he continued to pursue his entrepreneurial passion, working to establish more than 25 medical device companies. In 2004, he worked with Versant Ventures gaining experience in venture capital and helping to define new companies for future investment. Mr. Simpson is a founder and current managing director at Coronis Ventures, and he actively participates as a board member for multiple medical device companies, including Novobionics, Curant Medical, CoRepair, Uptake Medical, TiVaMed/Viveve, and EnTent.
Mr. Simpson received a BA in microbiology/medical technology from San Jose State University, and an MBA and M.S.E.E. in electrical engineering/computer science from the University of Santa Clara.