ABOUT US

Paving the way for real-time diagnostic guided therapy

ABOUT AVAILS MEDICAL

Avails Medical, Inc., a privately held company, was founded in 2013 to help transform the personalized medicine space.

Oren Knopfmacher,
PhD

Co-Founder & CEO

Oren Knopfmacher, PhD, is a nanotechnology and biochemical sensor expert with over 10 years experience in the field. Oren grew up in Germany and obtained his PhD in experimental physics from Basel University, Switzerland in 2011. His research was focused on biochemical silicon nanowire FET sensors. After graduation, Oren subsequently accepted a postdoc position in the group of Prof. Zehnan Bao at Stanford University. There he studied organic biochemical FET sensors. He was the first to show their stable operation in the marine environment. While being at Stanford, Oren completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Ignite Program where he met his co-founder Meike. Oren is a passionate 3rd degree black-belt Judoka. If not at Avails, Oren is refereeing international Judo tournaments as an USA and Germany licensed Judo referee.

Meike Herget,
PhD

Co-Founder & CTO

Meike obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, studying structural and functional aspects of complex membrane transport proteins. After an internship at Columbia University in New York City in the Department of Biological Science, she came to Stanford University, California for her postdoctoral research. At the Stanford Medical School, she studied the function of a membrane protein involved in synaptic transmission in the inner ear. Always driven to translate research into business ideas, Meike conducted entrepreneurship and innovation programs at Stanford University such as the Innovation Farm (iFarms) Program as well as the Stanford Ignite program at the Stanford business school (GSB). This finally led her to cofound Avails Medical. Aside from her affinity to life sciences, Meike is passionate about horses and spend her free time playing polo.

Naama Stauber,
MBA

Co-Founder

Naama completed her MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business, focusing on technology, entrepreneurship and leadership development. Earning her BSc in computer science, she served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces technology division, worked on engineering, product and biz-dev at security and gaming startups, and for McKinsey& Company and Innovation Endeavors VC. Prior to co-founding Avails Medical, Naama co-founded two medical device companies, CompactCath, an award winning continence care medical device company, and MOCACARE, a heart health company.

Nancy Isaac,
JD, MPH

Co-Founder & Head Regulatory Affairs

Nancy has over 25 years of experience in the regulated industry including basic research, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, corporate compliance and clinical research. She has worked and consulted on projects including medical devices, drugs, combination products, IVDs and biologics, in various therapeutic areas. Nancy is currently the Vice President of Regulatory, Quality and Clinical Affairs at Cardiokinetix, where she has been since 2014. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs and Quality at NeoTract, Inc. There she successfully led the clinical IDE study and De Novo for the Urolift System. Amongst many other regulatory positions, she was also the World Wide VP of Regulatory and Quality for BD Biosciences. Nancy holds a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University, a J.D. from Boston University School of Law with a concentration in Health Law as well as a Masters in Public Health and Law from Harvard School of Public Health. She is a member of the California Bar. Nancy has also lectured and taught at Santa Clara Law School, Haas School of Business, Stanford Medical School and UC Santa Cruz.

Michael D. Laufer,
MD

Medical Advisor, Board of Directors

Michael D. Laufer, MD has been a practicing physician and surgeon for the last three decades and a venture capitalist for the last 23 years. He is a serial entrepreneur, having conceived of and patented the technology for more than 20 companies including VNUS (IPO, acquired by Covidien, now part of Medtronic), Asthmatx (acquired by Boston Scientific), SurX (Acquired by American Medical Systems and CooperSurgical), etc. He brings expertise in early stage medical product development through FDA clearance and commercial production and growth. He is on the teaching faculty of Stanford BioDesign and has been on the surgical faculty of Harvard Medical School, the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center and the Stanford Emergency/Surgical Department faculty, as well as the Medicine faculty of the University of California San Francisco.

Jennifer Halsey

Strategic Advisor

Jennifer is an investor, board member and strategic advisor focused on capital-efficient execution and partnerships for high-growth medical technology companies. Her portfolio includes companies with innovative products in interventional neuroradiology, cancer therapy, diabetes management and digital diagnostics. Recent exits include Pulsar Vascular (J&J) and C2 Therapeutics (Pentax Medical).
Jennifer previously served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development for Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). From 1999 - 2011, she led Asante Partners, a strategic advisory firm in Menlo Park and New York. Asante exits include the sale of Surpass Medical to Stryker, Chestnut Medical to ev3/Covidien, and CryoCath to Medtronic. Jennifer began her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in New York after graduating with Highest Honors and Distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar. She recently received an adjunct faculty appointment in UNC’s Department of Economics to teach an undergraduate honors seminar in entrepreneurship. She also serves as Chair of UNC's Board of Visitors and on the board of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Oren Knopfmacher, PhD

Oren Knopfmacher, PhD, is a nanotechnology and biochemical sensor expert with over 10 years experience in the field. Oren grew up in Germany and obtained his PhD in experimental physics from Basel University, Switzerland in 2011. His research was focused on biochemical silicon nanowire FET sensors. After graduation, Oren subsequently accepted a postdoc position in the group of Prof. Zehnan Bao at Stanford University. There he studied organic biochemical FET sensors. He was the first to show their stable operation in the marine environment. While being at Stanford, Oren completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Ignite Program where he met his co-founder Meike. Oren is a passionate 3rd degree black-belt Judoka. If not at Avails, Oren is refereeing international Judo tournaments as an USA and Germany licensed Judo referee.

Nancy Isaac, JD, MPH

Nancy has over 25 years of experience in the regulated industry including basic research, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, corporate compliance and clinical research. She has worked and consulted on projects including medical devices, drugs, combination products, IVDs and biologics, in various therapeutic areas. Nancy is currently the Vice President of Regulatory, Quality and Clinical Affairs at Cardiokinetix, where she has been since 2014. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs and Quality at NeoTract, Inc. There she successfully led the clinical IDE study and De Novo for the Urolift System. Amongst many other regulatory positions, she was also the World Wide VP of Regulatory and Quality for BD Biosciences. Nancy holds a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University, a J.D. from Boston University School of Law with a concentration in Health Law as well as a Masters in Public Health and Law from Harvard School of Public Health. She is a member of the California Bar. Nancy has also lectured and taught at Santa Clara Law School, Haas School of Business, Stanford Medical School and UC Santa Cruz.

Aaron L. Berez, MD

Dr. Berez has extensive experience in developing, gaining U.S. Government regulatory approval and marketing medical devices. He was a co-founder and CEO of Chestnut Medical Technologies, Inc., which was acquired by eV3 Inc. for more than $150 million in 2009. Before co-founding Chestnut Dr. Berez served as the VP of clinical affairs at Smart Therapeutics, Inc, which was acquired by Boston Scientific in 2003.  He had previously served as the clinical director at Endovasix  (acquired by Gore).  He recently served as a director for Sapheon (acquired by Covidien in 2014). Dr. Berez is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he received his MD degree.  His postgraduate training was at UCSF/Mt. Zion in Internal Medicine, and Stanford University in Radiology and Neuroradiology, where he served as a clinical instructor in the Department of Radiology from 1997-2000.

Michael D. Laufer, MD

Michael D. Laufer, MD has been a practicing physician and surgeon for the last three decades and a venture capitalist for the last 23 years. He is a serial entrepreneur, having conceived of and patented the technology for more than 20 companies including VNUS (IPO, acquired by Covidien, now part of Medtronic), Asthmatx (acquired by Boston Scientific), SurX (Acquired by American Medical Systems and CooperSurgical), etc. He brings expertise in early stage medical product development through FDA clearance and commercial production and growth. He is on the teaching faculty of Stanford BioDesign and has been on the surgical faculty of Harvard Medical School, the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center and the Stanford Emergency/Surgical Department faculty, as well as the Medicine faculty of the University of California San Francisco.