The Company is led by a capable and seasoned management team with a broad background in the medical products industry. The team brings a broad array of relevant and necessary experience to the Company, both in terms of developing and bringing new products to market as well as managing successful established businesses.
Mr. Lousararian began working with Verax as a consultant in the fall of 2005 and was named Chief Executive Officer in February 2006. Prior to joining Verax, James was a consultant for Medtronic Vascular following Medtronic's acquisition of Angiolink Corporation in November 2004. Mr. Lousararian was the President and CEO, as well as a Director and co-Founder of AngioLink, a life sciences start-up in the fields of wound management and interventional cardiology. Prior to the founding of AngioLink in late 1999, Mr. Lousararian was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of STD Manufacturing Inc., a medical device OEM manufacturer. Prior to joining STD, Mr. Lousararian was Vice President of Thermo ReTec Corp., an American Stock Exchange company and part of the Thermo Electron family of companies, where Mr. Lousararian was President of two major subsidiaries and responsible for business development. Mr. Lousararian began his career at Hale and Dorr, a Boston law firm. Mr. Lousararian received his J.D. from the University of Chicago and his B.B.A. (Accounting) from the University of Massachusetts. Mr. Lousararian is also a co-founder of ArthroSurface Incorporated, a start-up orthopedics company and Spirus Medical, Inc., a start-up medical device company in the gastroenterology and urology fields.
Dr. Mintz joined Verax in February 2016 and is a specialist in transfusion medicine and blood banking. He was a member of the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Medicine from 1979 until 2011 where he was a tenured Professor of Pathology and Internal Medicine. He also served as Vice-Chair of Pathology and Chief of the Division of Clinical Pathology and Medical Director of the Clinical Laboratories and Transfusion Medicine Services at the University of Virginia Health System. In addition, Dr. Mintz was Co-Medical Director of Virginia Blood Services from 2008 until 2011. A recipient of a Transfusion Medicine Academic Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Dr. Mintz is also an NBF Scholar and was an inaugural inductee into the NBF Hall of Fame. He also served as a member of the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Mintz has designed and served as principal investigator for numerous clinical and medical device trials. He is widely published and has been a member of the editorial board of several medical journals. Dr. Mintz is the sole editor of all three editions of Transfusion Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice (AABB Press). He is a former President of the AABB, served on the AABB’s Board of Directors for nine years, and chaired and was a member of many AABB committees. Recently Dr. Mintz served as Director of the Division of Hematology Clinical Review in the Office of Blood Research and Review at the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Dr. Mintz received a BA with High Distinction in Philosophy and an MD with Honors both from the University of Rochester.
Mr. Sanders co-founded the Company in May 1999 and was appointed Vice President, Marketing & Business Development. Prior to joining Verax, Mr. Sanders served as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for ZymeQuest from 1997 to mid 1999. From November 1983 through 1997, Mr. Sanders was employed by the Diagnostics Division of Abbott Laboratories, where he held a variety of positions in sales, product management, strategic planning and marketing management. From 1983 through mid 1987 he held sales and product specialist positions in central Texas. From mid 1987 through mid 1997 he worked at the company's corporate headquarters in Abbott Park Illinois, first as a product manager, then as a senior strategic planner and finally as a marketing manager for both new products and established product lines representing over $1 billion in annual revenues. Mr. Sanders earned his BBA in 1981 and MBA in 1983 from the University of Houston.
Dr. Vallejo joined Verax in July 2014. He has 37 years’ experience in the development of various analytical methods and commercial products, the great portion of which involve immunoassay technology. His doctoral thesis covered multi-step organic syntheses leading to pioneering work on the application of immunoassays to pesticide and environmental and food toxicant detection. Dr. Vallejo devoted many years in the medical diagnostics industry as a scientist, manager, director or vice president in such companies as Terumo Medical Corporation, Becton Dickinson, Orasure, American Bio Medica Corporation, and Ensys Environmental, which merged with Newark-based SDI to become SDIX. He has developed many immunoassay-based products in various formats, including many lateral flow tests, for thyroid and other endocrine functions, fertility, infectious diseases, tumor markers, therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse, allergy, and industrial toxins. For the last 9 years, he worked at ANP Technologies, Inc., becoming its senior vice president for R&D, leading the development of various lateral flow assays for biowarfare agents for the US Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, cardiac markers, immunogenicity testing of biotherapeutic drugs, and allergy diagnostics. While at ANP, he invented a rapid test for chemical warfare agents, currently in advanced development for the US Army under a Phase III SBIR grant. Dr. Vallejo is a lead inventor or co-inventor on 5 issued patents and 4 pending applications. He obtained his doctorate in Organic Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. McKenzie joined the Company in January 2007 and serves as Senior Vice President of Operations. Prior to joining Verax, he was site director of the Abbott Diagnostics immunoassay manufacturing facility in Longford, Ireland, where he took the site from green field to operational status in 19 months and supervised the hiring and training of 340 employees. Previously, he was divisional vice president of Abbott Diagnostics/ Abbott Molecular and vice president for Vysis, Inc., both of Downer’s Grove, Ill. Earlier, McKenzie held posts with ATC Diagnostics, Inc. and GENE-TRAK Systems, both of Framingham, Mass. and SCOTT Laboratories, Inc. of West Warwick, R.I. He began his career at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass. and earned a B.S. from MIT and an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Ms. Hornbaker was appointed Vice President Regulatory Affairs in October of 2006 after serving as responsible head of Regulatory Affairs for Verax since 2002. Prior to joining the Company she held the position of Director of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs at Bayer Diagnostics. From 1993 through 1998 she served as Director of Regulatory Affairs at Chiron Diagnostics and from 1986 through early 1993 she held the position of Director of Regulatory Affairs at Baxter Diagnostics. Previously she held positions in regulatory affairs and QA at Abbott Laboratories and Searle Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Hornbaker has extensive experience coordinating clinical trials and performing regulatory submissions for diagnostic testing products. She also has direct experience with tests intended to detect infectious contamination in the blood supply. Ms. Hornbaker received her BA from Kalamazoo College and her MBA from the University of Chicago.
Mr. Ragusa joined the Company in March 2007 and serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration. Prior to joining Verax, he was a consultant with Boston Equity Advisors where he assisted early stage medical device companies with the process of raising investment capital. Mr. Ragusa has held a variety of executive level financial positions within early stage, venture backed organizations. In addition to the medical device industry, he has expertise in the telecom, internet, and software space. Mr. Ragusa began his career in public accounting which included service with a Big-Five accounting firm. He is a graduate of Northeastern University where he earned a B.S. in finance, and is a certified public accountant.