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Cardiorobotics Announces Dr. Samuel Straface as New CEO, PLSG Executive-in-Residence to Lead Company


3/17/2009 7:12:44 AM

PITTSBURGH, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardiorobotics, Inc., a medical device company developing advanced robotic technologies for use in a wide range of applications, including: medical, industrial, military, and law enforcement, announces the appointment of Dr. Samuel Straface in the position of President & Chief Executive Officer.

"We are excited that Dr. Straface has joined Cardiorobotics in this executive leadership role," stated Executive Chairman and founding CEO, David Wagner. "Dr. Straface's long track record of commercial success, exceptional management, interpersonal and organizational skills, along with a diverse industry background in biological sciences, surgical applications and medical devices will guide Cardiorobotics as we continue to develop into a world class company.

"This appointment reinforces Cardiorobotics' commitment to creating a medical device company that will be a leader in developing products to serve a number of different specialist areas, including: minimally-invasive cardiac surgery, electrophysiology, natural orifice and a range of single-port laparoscopic and thoracoscopic procedures," says Mr. Wagner.

Dr. Straface has joined the leadership team that includes the two company co-founders; Chief Technology Officer Howie Choset, Ph.D. and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, Marco A. Zenati, M.D. "I am excited about joining the Cardiorobotics team and leading them through the company's first clinical trials and then commercialization for single port cardiac procedures," stated Dr. Straface.

Dr. Straface began working with Cardiorobotics as an Executive-in-Residence at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG). "We are thrilled that the PLSG is able to assist in the commercialization of Cardiorobotics and help to facilitate the development of the leadership team," says John W. Manzetti, PLSG President & CEO. "Samuel has the background and demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership ability to augment and lead Cardiorobotics as the company prepares for market launch. We look forward to his continued contribution to the PLSG as an Executive-in-Residence CEO advisor."

Cardiorobotics' cardioARM(TM) will provide a breakthrough technology platform for minimally-invasive cardiac surgery, allowing a wide range of epicardial interventions via single-port, subxiphoid access. Cardiac surgery is different from other surgical procedures because the large sternotomy incision required to access the heart requires general endotracheal anesthesia. The heart-lung machine that is required for open-heart surgery (e.g. valve repair) adds further morbidity. Performing an epicardial intervention in a less invasive manner will dramatically improve patient recovery and decrease risks involved with the current procedures.

Cardiorobotics, Inc. is in its final stages of raising its Series A financing that will enable it to reach its clinical and commercial milestones.

About Cardiorobotics, Inc.

Cardiorobotics, Inc. is developing advanced robotic technologies for use in a wide range of applications, including: medical, industrial, military, and law enforcement. The Company's highly articulated robotic probes have very high degrees of freedom, are teleoperated, and are able to steer a self-supported, non-linear path from a single access port.

Within the medical field, the Company plans to serve a number of different specialist areas, including: minimally-invasive cardiac surgery, electrophysiology, natural orifice and a range of single-port laparoscopic and thoracoscopic procedures. Cardiorobotics employs eleven people at its Technology & Research Center in Pittsburgh, PA and the business and product development facility located in Newport, RI. The Company is in its pre-clinical stage and expects to begin human clinical trials in 2009.

About Samuel Straface, Ph.D.

Dr. Straface was most recently an Executive-in Residence at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse where he assisted a portfolio of life sciences companies with business formation, development and financing. He was the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Triton BioSystems, Inc., a targeted nanobiotechnology company focused on head and neck, breast and prostate cancers. He has 20 years experience in global sales, marketing and medical R&D at Boston Scientific Corporation, and Johnson & Johnson, where he served in middle and senior executive roles in sales, marketing, business development and general management.

Dr. Straface began his career as a Scientific Officer, researching the neurophysiology of the retina and methods for early diagnosis of neuronal disease. He holds a Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the University of Western Australia and has published articles in his previous field of research.

About Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) provides capital investments and customized company formation and business growth services to western Pennsylvania's life sciences enterprises. The PLSG supports biosciences companies with promising innovations in the following concentrations: Biotechnology Tools, Diagnostics, Healthcare IT, Medical Devices and Therapeutics. The PLSG is propelling the sustainable growth of the region's life sciences economy by accelerating research and technology commercialization with seed and early-stage companies; connecting investors with their Investment Portfolio companies; expanding established life sciences ventures and relocating biomedical companies to Pennsylvania.

http://www.plsg.com

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