About ExThera Medical
ExThera Medical develops and commercializes extracorporeal blood filtration devices, including the Seraph® 100 Microbind® Affinity Blood Filter, for removing a broad range of harmful substances from the bloodstream of patients. Seraph 100 can be used in hospitals, clinics, or field hospitals to address infections caused by battlefield wounds or pandemics. ExThera Medical’s extracorporeal products have demonstrated life-saving capabilities in a wide range of critically ill patients suffering from severe infections. With a growing body of outcome and health economic evidence from independent clinical studies, participation in the DARPA dialysis-like therapeutics program, and from successful clinical use in the U.S. and EU, the company is well-positioned to serve healthcare professionals and patients alike.
ExThera Medical was formed in 2008 through a joint venture between the Emergence Venture Partners Life Science Incubator and ExThera AB at the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm with a focus on therapeutic applications to treat drug-resistant infections.
Robert Ward, NAE, Ph.D. (h)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Keith McCrea, Ph.D.
Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Science Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Vice President of Accounting
Senior Director of Quality Assurance
Scientific Advisory Board Members
Dr. Chawla, M.D.
Meet Dr. Chawla
Prof. Gerlach, M.D., MBA, MSc, MAE
Meet Prof. Gerlach
Dr. Goldstein, M.D.
Meet Dr. Goldstein
Robert Ward, NAE, Ph.D. (h) | President and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to ExThera, Robert Ward was President, CEO, and Founder of the Polymer Technology Group (PTG) in Berkeley, California. PTG was sold to Royal DSM with a 132X investor return. Prior to a successful entrepreneurial career, Robert was Director of Research at Avco Medical Products and later spent a decade at Thoratec as President of the Biomaterials Division. He has numerous technical publications and patents and has received multiple awards and recognitions. Robert studied engineering management and polymer science at Northeastern University and received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
Keith McCrea, Ph.D. | Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Science Officer
Keith McCrea began his career at The Polymer Technology Group (PTG), where he built a state-of-the-art surface analysis laboratory focusing on a custom-built advanced laser technique that has been used to aid in the identification and development of new intellectual property at ExThera. Keith has led R&D projects to develop new materials for several different medical applications and has a doctorate in physical chemistry, with an emphasis on surface modification and characterization from University of California, Berkeley. Keith also serves on the scientific advisory board of NESAC/BIO, an NIH-sponsored program at the University of Washington with a mission to develop new techniques to solve biomedical related problems associated with surfaces and interfaces.
Vidur Sahney | Chief Operating Officer
Vidur brings more than 20 years of experience including operations, quality, validation, manufacturing, and research. Most recently Vidur served as vice president of operations at Sientra where he successfully led the initiative for FDA site clearance for a Class III / PMA device. Prior to that, Vidur worked at Thoratec where he was responsible for commercializing the HeartMate Percutaneous Heart Pump (PHP) program, which later led to an acquisition by St. Jude Medical. Vidur has also served as Senior Director of Manufacturing and Operations at CR Bard Vascular, formerly Loma Vista Medical (by acquisition), where he worked to take a novel fiber composite balloon catheter used for TAVR procedures from concept to commercialization while simultaneously managing key contract manufacturer relationships. In addition, Vidur has worked as a manufacturing engineering manager at Abbott Vascular and as a senior manufacturing process engineer at Abbott Diabetes Care. Vidur received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from San Francisco State University.
Michael Benjamin | Vice President of Accounting
Michael brings over 25 years of experience in financial reporting, compliance, M&A and due diligence, budgeting, and financial planning. His previous experience includes acting as the director of technical accounting, partner at a regional CPA firm, and vice president/controller. Michael brings a high-level of strategic and operational decision-making due to his previous consulting roles with a specialty in analyzing problems and executing strategies. Michael studied accounting at Florida Atlantic University, and received his MBA with an emphasis in international management at Arizona State University.
Sallie Coviello | Senior Director of Quality Assurance
Sallie began her career in research and development at The Polymer Technology Group (PTG) working directly with physicians and engineers to develop and fabricate medical device prototypes used in benchtop and clinical studies. Since then, she has gained 25+ years of experience in a variety of positions including principle quality engineer, director of device development, director of manufacturing at DSM Biomedical and VP of Operations at Actamax Surgical Materials, LLC, then a DSM Biomedical-DuPont joint venture. Sallie’s background in Class II and III devices allowed her to experience quality from a variety of perspectives and provided an ideal basis for her transition to quality management in the medical device industry. Sallie received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology, Product Design with a minor in Business Administration from San Francisco State University.
Dr. Chawla, M.D.
Prior to joining the board, Dr. Chawla was a professor of medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. where he directed research efforts for the Division of Critical Care Medicine. He previously headed the Division of Intensive Care Medicine at the Washington D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and currently serves as a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. With a focus on critical care and nephrology, Dr. Chawla has led and supported several grants and research projects centered on acute kidney injury, renal disease, extracorporeal therapies, shock, and sepsis.
2013 – Alpha Omega Alpha, George Washington University
Dr. Chawla received a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a medical degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Prof. Gerlach, M.D., MBA, MSc, MAE
Prof. Gerlach brings expertise in anesthesiology and critical care medicine as a board-certified physician and professor. A widely published researcher, he has investigated issues pertaining to intensive care, critical care and emergency medicine, post-operative care and the treatment of sepsis, which are highly relevant to ExThera’s mission of developing new therapies for the treatment of bloodstream infections. In addition to his several roles throughout Germany, Prof. Gerlach also previously served as a research fellow at Columbia University in New York. He previously served as president of the German Sepsis Society and is now vice president.
1999 – Received the Annual Scientific Award, 19thInternational Symposium of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine
1997 – Awarded a teaching certificate for Educational Presentations, European Respiratory Society
1993 – Received the Pulmedica Award, German Society for Research in Respiratory and Lung Diseases
Prof. Dr. Gerlach received a medical degree from Justus Liebig University, Giessen and a master of business administration degree in hospital management from Hochschule Neubrandenburg. He also received a master’s degree in Clinical Research and Translational Medicine from the University of Leipzig and a master’s degree in Education in Applied Ethics from The University of Münster.
Dr. Goldstein, M.D.
Dr. Goldstein contributes expertise in nephrology and brings to the board a unique perspective from his background in pediatric care. In addition to his current role at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, he holds a faculty position as a professor of pediatrics for the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. Dr. Goldstein has also led and contributed research support for several research investigations focused on device therapies, including those with emphasis on renal failure and end-stage renal disease, for various institutions.
2018 – Received the Team Research Award for Learning Networks, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
2017 – Elected Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology
2016 – Awarded the Presidential Citation, Society for Critical Care Medicine
Dr. Goldstein received a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College and a medical degree from Columbia University.