MaRS Innovation appoints President and CEO



    
    Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein brings global perspective to important
    leadership role at MaRS Innovation
    

    TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of MaRS Innovation is
pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein as
President and CEO, effective June 8, 2009.
    "We are delighted to welcome Dr. Hofstein to Canada and to MaRS
Innovation," said Mary Jo Haddad, Chair, MaRS Innovation Board of Directors,
and President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children. "His outstanding
credentials and experience stood out in our extensive international search. He
is exceptionally qualified to build and lead this important partnership to a
recognized success."
    MaRS Innovation was created as a single, market-facing commercialization
storefront for Toronto's renowned academic institutions. It aggregates the
discovery pipeline in life sciences, physical sciences, information and
communication technology, and cleantech from its member institutions, which
include three universities, 10 academic teaching hospitals and the Ontario
Institute for Cancer Research. MaRS Innovation, with support from MaRS and
BioDiscovery Toronto, will advance commercialization through industry
partnerships, licensing and company creation.
    Dr. Hofstein joins MaRS Innovation from Israel, where he has held the
position of President and CEO of Hadasit Ltd., the technology transfer company
of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, since 1999. He has also
served as Chair of Hadasit BioHolding Ltd., publically traded on the Tel Aviv
Stock Exchange (TASE), since 2005. In these roles, he was responsible for the
commercialization of intellectual property emerging from the Hadassah Medical
Organization, clinical trials with industry partners, as well as the launch,
development and strategic oversight of a series of medical devices,
biomedicine and diagnostic equipment spin-off companies.
    "I am delighted to take on this new challenge," said Dr. Hofstein. "MaRS
Innovation is a unique global initiative, and I must commend the institutional
leaders in Toronto for pulling this innovation powerhouse together to
strengthen commercialization output. In my experience, good science is the
single most important ingredient for success in this business. Toronto is
already known as one of the strongest science cities in the world, and it
continues to grow. Leading MaRS Innovation is a wonderful opportunity to do
something remarkable."
    From 1997 to 1999 Dr. Hofstein was President of Mindsense Biosystems
Ltd., an Israeli company that develops neuropsychiatric immune assays.
Previously, he was Vice President Business Development for Ecogen Inc., a
subsidiary of Monsanto, in Langhorne, Pa. Dr. Hofstein is a co-founder and
Board member of ILSI, the Israeli Life Science Industry Organization, and a
co-founder and executive in Israel's Tech Transfer Network (ITTN). Other
Directorships held on TASE publicly traded companies include: Bioline RX (drug
development); Exalenz (medical devices); and Evogene (agri-bio). He has also
served as Chairman of BIOMED, Israel's annual biomedical conference, from 2005
to 2007.
    "On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Dr. Ilse
Treurnicht, CEO MaRS Discovery District, for her important contribution to the
launch of MaRS Innovation, and for serving as Interim Managing Director for
the past year," said Ms. Haddad. "The foundations are built and the
organization is well-positioned for this next phase. We are pleased that Ilse
will remain an active board member, providing a wealth of knowledge and
experience as MaRS Innovation matures."

    About MaRS Innovation

    MaRS Innovation (www.marsdd.com/mars-innovation) provides an integrated
commercialization platform that harnesses the economic potential of the
exceptional discovery pipeline of 14 leading Toronto academic institutions.
MaRS Innovation is a non-profit organization with an independent industry-led
Board of Directors, funded through the Government of Canada's CECR Program and
contributions of its member institutions, as well as support from the Province
of Ontario.


    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
    

    About Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein

    Dr. Hofstein received his PhD and Master of Science degrees in Life
Sciences and Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot,
Israel. His Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Physics was attained
from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Awards received while completing
post-doctoral training and research at the Harvard Medical School in Boston in
the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Neurobiology include the
Hereditary Disease Foundation Fellowship in 1982-83, and the Chaim Weizmann
Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1980-82.
    During the 1980s, he held the roles of Scientific Director of
Biotechnological Applications Ltd., and Manager R&D and Chief of
Immunochemistry at the International Genetic Scientific Partnership,
organizations that were pivotal in the development of Israel's world-leading
biotechnology sector.
    Dr. Hofstein was Scientific Director of the Israeli office of Ecogen
Inc., a subsidiary of Monsanto, for over six years before assuming the role of
Vice President, Business Development for Ecogen in Langhorne, Pa.
    From 1997 to 1999 Dr. Hofstein was President of Mindsense Biosystems
Ltd., an Israeli company that develops neuropsychiatric immune assays. From
1999 to present, he has held the position of President and CEO of Hadasit
Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Organization in
Jerusalem.
    He has served as Chair of Hadasit BioHolding Ltd., publicly traded on the
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), since 2005. Other Directorships held on TASE
publicly traded companies include: Bioline RX (drug development); Exalenz
(medical devices); and Evogene (agri-bio). He has also served as Chairman of
BIOMED, Israel's annual biomedical conference, from 2005 to 2007. In addition,
Dr. Hofstein is a co-founder and Board member of ILSI, the Israeli Life
Science Industry Organization, and a co-founder and executive in Israel's Tech
Transfer Network (ITTN).

    
    MaRS Innovation Member Institutions:

    - Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care  - Ryerson University
    - BioDiscovery Toronto                - St. Michael's Hospital
    - Bloorview Kids Rehab                - Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    - Centre for Addiction and Mental     - The Hospital for Sick Children
      Health                              - The New Women's College Hospital
    - MaRS Discovery District             - Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
    - Mount Sinai Hospital                - University Health Network
    - Ontario College of Art and Design   - University of Toronto
    - Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

    MaRS Innovation Board of Directors:

    -  W. Geoffrey Beattie - Deputy Chair & President, Woodbridge Company
       Ltd., Thomson Reuters Corp.
    -  Christopher C. Capelli, M.D. - Vice President, Technology Based
       Ventures, Office of Technology Commercialization, University of Texas,
       M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
    -  Ron Close - Entrepreneur-in-Residence, MaRS, and Executive
       Entrepreneur-in-Residence, The Richard Ivey School of Business, The
       University of Western Ontario
    -  Nicholas Darby - President, Darby & Associates Consulting LLC
    -  Mary Jo Haddad - President & CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children
    -  Jacqueline H.R. Le Saux - General Counsel, Purdue Pharma Canada
    -  David A. Leslie - Former Chairman & CEO, Ernst & Young, and Chair,
       Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    -  Michael H. May - President, Rimon Therapeutics
    -  Chandra J. Panchal - President, Mentra Nova Enterprises Inc.
    -  Ilse Treurnicht - CEO, MaRS Discovery District
    -  Donald A. Wright - President & CEO, The Winnington Capital Group Inc.
    




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Dr. Hofstein
please contact Susan McGovern, Vice President MaRS Innovation, at
smcgovern@marsinnovation.com or (647) 260-7878


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