Intelligent Implants Ltd., a development-stage digital medicine and orthopedics startup, has named Benjamin A Hertzog, Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.
The company tapped Dr. Hertzog to build upon the foundation of the innovative technology established over recent years. On the heels of receiving FDA Breakthrough Device Designation and an award of €4.5 million in blended funding from the European Union EIC Accelerator for its SmartFuse® Technology, Dr. Hertzog will lead the progression of product development, clinical, and commercial activities for the company’s novel and proprietary smart orthopedic implant platform.
“Ben joined Intelligent Implants as Executive Chairman of the Board in 2020, and his broad experience in complex Class-III medical devices, leadership, and exceptional track record made it an obvious choice to have Ben join us at the helm of the company,” said John Zellmer, Intelligent Implants co-founder and founding CEO. “Ben has the skills and credibility to guide Intelligent Implants as we navigate through the next stage of clinical and commercial activities. We look forward to his leadership as we continue to achieve key milestones.” Mr. Zellmer will remain with the company as Chief Operating Officer.
General Partner of global venture capital firm SOS Ventures and Intelligent Implants Board Member Bill Liao said, “Having been involved since the beginning, it’s exciting to witness the impressive achievements and growth of the company. Attracting such a high-caliber leader as Ben is a testament to the entire Intelligent Implant team and the huge potential of the incredible innovation behind the SmartFuse technology. There is certainly an exciting future ahead for Intelligent Implants.”
Dr. Hertzog has over 20 years of experience in healthcare and life sciences as an engineer, investor, management consultant, and serial entrepreneur with a passion for driving success in transformative medical device companies with the potential to positively impact patients’ lives. He was most recently an Entrepreneur in Residence with Johnson and Johnson’s Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center (CDI@TMC).
Before joining CDI, Dr. Hertzog served as the Founding CEO for medical device startup, Procyrion, Inc. developing Aortix™, a first-in-class catheter deployed heart pump for the treatment of Cardiorenal Syndrome and Chronic Heart Failure. Ben led the company as employee number one through Series C financing, product development, animal studies, strategic investment, and human clinical trials.
Prior to Procyrion, Dr. Hertzog was a Managing Director of AlphaDev, LLC (Now Fannin Partners), an early-stage venture development firm; Vice President of BCM Ventures, a venture capital firm affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine; and a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. where he was a member of the firm’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Products Practice.
Dr. Hertzog received his Ph.D. from the artificial organs, biomaterials, and cellular technology program at Brown University and achieved his undergraduate degree in engineering science from Trinity University.
“I am thrilled to work with John and the entire Intelligent Implants team as we make progress towards bringing this novel technology platform to the market,” said Hertzog. “Throughout my career, I’ve been driven by and focused on bringing innovative medical device therapies to the market, and I believe that SmartFuse represents the future of medical devices; smart connected implants that provide therapeutic benefits and real-time data to support clinical decision making. Ultimately, I believe these implants will have significant advantages to traditional implants in addressing unmet clinical needs and improving patient outcomes.”
Intelligent Implants SmartFuse system is a wirelessly enabled orthopedics technology platform that has been designed to remotely stimulate, control, and monitor bone growth. The SmartFuse system has been designed to address issues of non-union and bone overgrowth associated with other therapies. The system is comprised of an implant to deliver local electrical stimulation to accelerate bone growth, an external “wearable” to wirelessly power and communicate with the implant, and a cloud-based physician portal and patient App.
The first indication for the SmartFuse system will be for use in lumbar spinal fusions.