Michael L. Weiner
Mike is an serial entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO of Technology
Innovations, a company he cofounded in 1999 which has created multiple
spin-off ventures, filed over 300 patents, and brought innovations to
The Technology Review article Defibrillation’s Alternative: A new approach would stop ventricular fibrillation before it started described one of Mike’s inventions in 2007:
Treating a failing heart by zapping it with a painful, powerful electrical shock has become the standard procedure. Now, a medical device company, based in West Henrietta, NY, has patented a technique that avoids the need for such dramatic treatment, by predicting the onset of fibrillation the heart rhythm that can lead to sudden death and treating it before it occurs.
The preventative treatment does, like defibrillation, involve electrically stimulating the heart, says Michael Weiner, CEO of Biophan Technologies. But this new technique’s weak signal would be minuscule compared to the jolt that defibrillators normally deliver. “I know patients with defibrillators who live in fear of that son-of-a-gun going off”, he says.
US 7,020,517 – Fibrillation/tachycardia monitoring and preventive system and methodology
Mike holds 30 issued patents, including a patent for inclusion of a
projector within a PDA or laptop (US Pat 6,930,669
Michael L. Weiner began his career at Xerox Corporation in 1975, where he served in a variety of capacities in sales and marketing, including manager of software market expansion and manager of sales compensation planning. In 1982, he received the President's Award, the top honor at Xerox for an invention benefiting a major product line. In 1985, he founded Microlytics, a Xerox spin-off company which developed technology from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) into a suite of products, including the award winning Word Finder thesaurus, with licenses out to over 150 companies, including Apple, Microsoft, and Sony.
In January 1993, Mike cofounded TextWise, a company developing natural language search technologies for the intelligence community. In 1995, he cofounded and served as CEO of Manning & Napier Information Services (MNIS), a Rochester-based company providing parent analytics, prior art searches, and other services, for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and many large corporations, and which subsequently acquired TextWise. TextWise won the Department of Commerce Tibbetts Award for SBIR research in 1998.
In February 1999, Mike founded and is CEO of Technology Innovations, LLC, a company which creates innovations and new ventures.
In December 2000, Mike worked with Wilson Greatbatch, P.E., the inventor of the first successful implantable cardiac pacemaker, which Greatbatch licensed to Medtronic in 1960. Mr. Greatbatch founded a battery company traded on the NYSE under the name Greatbatch, Inc, After retiring from this company, Mike and Mr. Greatbatch started a new company, Biophan (Ray Kurzweil was on the Scientific Advisory Board as was Dr. Herbert Hauptmann, the Nobel Laureate).
Biophan's primary mission was to solve the problems which prevented biomedical devices such as pacemakers to be safe and compatible with MRI diagnostics. Biophan entered into a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the US Food and Drug Administration and produced recommendations for new standards for measuring the heating and induced tachycardia that are the primary causes of patient dangers that threaten patient safety and can cause potential fatalities. Biophan created a series of patented solutions that were licensed to Guidant and then the patent portfolio was acquired by Medtronic in 2007. Biophan's solutions include filters and special lead wire designs and are expected to produce pacemakers and implanted devices which in the future will allow patients with these devices to undergo MRI scans when needed.
Biophan also developed and demonstrated a means to visualize restenosis and clotting inside stents, including metal stents, normally blocked due to the Faraday Cage effect. By imposing a resonant frequency on the stent the Faraday Cage effect is mitigated and the stent becomes an effective MRI mini-coil, allowing visualization in real time of blockages and dangerous clots. This technology was licensed to Boston Scientific which became an equity investor in Biophan. Several patents were issued to a Biophan affiliate for a pacemaker battery powered by body heat, and a CRADA was established between NASA and Biophan. Additionally, Biophan pioneered the development of the use of fiber optic leads and devices in the body, developing and testing in animals the very first pacemaker to pace a heart electrically with a fiber optic lead powered by a miniature laser capable of being implanted. These patents include the design of a miniature analog to digital converter, powered by light, at the distal end of catheters. Over 20 patents were issued to Biophan for these innovative applications of photonics and fiber optics in catheters and implanted devices, one of which was sold to Medtronic and the balance are retained by Biophan.
Technology Innovations (through its Biomed Solutions division) joined forces with the University of Rochester and created CellTraffix (www.celltraffix.com) to commercialize a technology originally developed to collect adult stem cells using a miniature implantable capillary using adhesion technology and microfluidics. Biomed invented the concept and brought it to the University of Rochester, proposing a new model, a reverse of the norm, where the University's expertise and capabilities generated over $4 million in R&D funding and a start-up company was formed. Michael R. King, Ph.D. led the transition from concept to a proven capability, collecting adult stem cells. The technology was then adapted to signal cancer cells flowing in blood and to kill them with very low toxicity to healthy cells, using the same core technology. Patents were filed to use this technology to signal adjust stem cells to differentiate into the specific cells needed by the body. The research is now ongoing at Dr. King's lab at Cornell University, and joint research on stem cells for ocular applications is being explored with the University of Southern California's NSF funded Biomimetics Center.
Mike's work with Dr. Jack Tuszynski at the University of Alberta at Edmonton resulted in two new ventures, OncoVista (www.oncovista.com OTC: OVIT) was founded with Dr. Tuszynski and Dr. Alex Weis (formerly cofounder of CSO of Ilex oncology). OncoVista has a diagnostic test that indicates the presence of metastasizing tumors in the bloodstream, and is developing a test to monitor the success of specific chemotherapy drugs on patient specific metastasizing tumors, a key component in personalized medicine. OncoVista is publicly traded on the OTC and Frankfurt markets. A new company, Pharma Matrix, is being formed with Dr. Tuszynski in Edmonton to commercialize breakthrough technologies in drug development.
Mike and his colleagues are developing an advancement in live cell imaging seeing more of a cell, faster, with much less need for dyes, in 3D, without damaging the cell. It is called CellCAT (http://plum.celltraffix.com/content/blogcategory/37/35/).
Mike believes that society can benefit by improving the methods by which innovation moves from idea to application and commercialization. And that the planet can be maintained by encouraging knowledge, innovation, and the mechanics of enterprise. He supports the Lifeboat Foundation for these reasons.