After $70M Boston Scientific Deal, CeloNova CEO Heads to Nonprofit

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — Martin Landon, a long-time San Antonio life sciences executive, has left the chief executive role at medical device maker CeloNova Biosciences a year after selling a portion of the business to Boston Scientific for $70 million. Landon has taken a new job as the CEO of nonprofit BioBridge Global.

San Antonio-based BioBridge runs a few different organizations that focus on regenerative medicine treatments and research, including the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, and GenCure. The groups provide products and services such as blood resource management and collecting donated umbilical cord blood.

Stepping into the nonprofit world is a big change for Landon, who has spent his entire career in the private sector. He worked for almost two decades at Kinetic Concepts (now known as Acelity) as controller and CFO, before eventually taking over as president and CEO of CeloNova in 2014.

CeloNova had developed both radiology and cardiology products when Landon took the helm. It was the radiology portfolio, including a drug-delivery device that targets tumors, that attracted Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX). The Marlborough, MA-based company announced in November it would pay $70 million upfront to acquire CeloNova’s radiology products, including what are known as microspheres, plus milestone payments tied to sales and regulatory approval.

Microspheres are tiny particles that are sometimes used by radiologists to block the blood flow in something like a tumor. (Check out this video for an illustration of the process.) The microspheres that CeloNova sold can be loaded with a controlled dose of a therapeutic, like a chemotherapy, to be delivered to the tumor over time, the company says.

The drug-eluting microspheres, as they’re called, have been approved in Europe, though not yet in the U.S. Boston Scientific has multiple ongoing studies for the technology, including in liver cancer.

CeloNova now is studying stent systems to be used in patients with coronary artery disease, which are approved in Europe and being studied in the U.S.

CeloNova’s chairman, Dennert Ware, is serving as the company’s interim CEO it hires a replacement. Ware knows Landon from Kinetic Concepts (Acelity), where Ware was CEO for six years. After leaving Acelity in 2012, Landon spent a little more than a year as the president and CEO of The Scooter Store, a power mobility chair distributor that shut down its operations in 2013 after filing for bankruptcy in part due to a Justice Department investigation into whether it had committed Medicare fraud, according to the San Antonio Express-News. After a five-year investigation, the Justice Department decided to not press any criminal charges against any former Scooter Store executives. Landon joined CeloNova in 2014.

Landon is replacing Linda Myers, who is retiring after serving as CEO of BioBridge since 2013. She has worked for the organization since 1994.

BioBridge sometimes works with local life sciences companies. StemBioSys, a company that develops an extracellular matrix used for producing stem cells, announced a deal with BioBridge in December where the nonprofit would use the company’s matrix technology to produce more stem cells from umbilical cord blood.