LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Southern California Biomedical Council (SoCalBio) — the voice and advocate of the bioscience and digital health industries in the Greater Los Angeles region — mourns the passing of legendary biomedical entrepreneur and SoCalBio Founding Chairman Emeritus Alfred E. Mann, who died yesterday at the age of 90.
“I am profoundly honored to have known and worked with Al,” said SoCalBio President and CEO Ahmed Enany. “He was an inspiration to me and all of the entrepreneurs he helped through his tenure at SoCalBio.”
SoCalBio was created through Rebuild LA in the mid-1990s to provide a forum for biotech and medtech entrepreneurs across the L.A. region. As the pioneering founder of numerous L.A.-based aerospace and biomedical companies, Mr. Mann understood the importance of SoCalBio’s mission as a networking and advocacy organization. This understanding led him to take on the responsibility of helping build SoCalBio, for which he served as chairman form July 1997 through 2009.
SoCalBio now helps nearly 400 corporate and research institution members gain access to capital, potential partners and other resources. It also promotes technology transfer and workforce training, while informing policy makers and the public at-large about the benefits of the L.A. region’s bioscience industry.
Enany added, “Al’s business savvy and sense of civic responsibility influenced everyone he worked with over the years. He was also a uniquely generous man who knew the value of charitable work and community service. He will be sorely missed, but leaves behind a legacy of innovation and leadership and, more importantly, an example of entrepreneurial commitment to job creation and community development.”
During his 70-year career, Mr. Mann founded 17 companies. Three of those companies went public, and 10 were acquired for a total of nearly $8 billion. Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from his technologies, and he created thousands of jobs.
“Al will be missed by all, but his generosity lives on through the people he touched, the companies he created and the medical miracles produced by those companies,” said Robert Greenberg, MD, PhD, chairman of SoCalBio and chairman of Second Sight Medical Products.
The list of companies created by Mr. Mann includes MannKind (new therapies and drug-delivery platforms), Second Sight (bionic eye technology to reverse blindness), Bioness (systems to address neural deficits and restore controlled function of paralyzed limbs), IncuMed (novel percutaneous seals for various applications) and perQflo (drug delivery systems).
Mr. Mann earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics from UCLA, and made his first big break with Spectrolab — a military-backed company that made the solar cells to power the first U.S. space probes.
“In addition to his civic and entrepreneurial activities, Mr. Mann served as a truly great role model through his work ethic and philanthropy, and was a major source of innovation for improved healthcare outcomes,” said Jonathan Lasch, PhD, SoCalBio vice chair and executive director of Alfred Mann Institutes at the University of Southern California (AMI – USC).
Mr. Mann provided the vision and resources to create the Alfred Mann Foundation, a nonprofit research organization devoted to the development of advanced medical products in a variety of fields. He also endowed and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of AMI – USC and Technion Institute (Israel).
“All these foundations are engaged in translational development from bench to marketplace — a process that is critical, but often underfunded in our world,” added Dr. Lasch. “Al had both the vision and courage to make it happen for all of our benefit.”
SoCalBio is a nonprofit, member-supported trade association that promotes bioscience research, development, manufacturing, job creation and overall economic growth in the Greater Los Angeles region. The Council’s programs help local firms gain access to capital, potential partners and business support services. The annual SoCalBio Investor & Partnership Conference has grown to become the region’s premier showcase for emerging life-science companies and technologies. SoCalBio also promotes technology transfer and workforce training, while informing policy makers and the public at-large about the benefits of the region’s life-science industry. More information about SoCalBio is available at www.socalbio.org.