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BioMed SA Recognizes Leonard Pinchuk, Ph.D., D.Sc. with 2017 Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience for his transformative biomaterial technologies benefitting hundreds of millions of patients globally
August 2, 2017

Dr. Pinchuk's innovations include the first commercially successful angioplasty balloon catheter, a market-leading drug-eluting stent and a novel microshunt that prevents the progression of vision loss caused by glaucoma.

(SAN ANTONIO) August 2, 2017   BioMed SA, the non-profit corporation founded in 2005 to help promote and grow San Antonio's leading industry, healthcare and bioscience, will present its 2017 BioMed SA Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience to Leonard Pinchuk, Ph.D., D.Sc. Dr. Pinchuk is the inventor or co-inventor of numerous biotechnologies that have benefitted hundreds of millions of lives around the world. This award honors individuals from both San Antonio and the United States who have put novel ideas into action with tangible, transformational results.  Dr. Pinchuk, who is based in Miami, Florida, will accept the award at BioMed SA's annual award dinner in San Antonio on September 13, 2017. 

Dr. Pinchuk was selected for this honor based on his many achievements in the innovation and development of numerous globally-impactful inventions, including the world's first commercially successful and most widely-used angioplasty balloon catheter, a longtime market-leading drug-eluting coronary stent (TAXUS), and the InnFocus MicroShunt, a minimally-invasive device that prevents the progression of vision loss due to glaucoma. His major accomplishments also include invention of the helical wire stent, the modular stent-graft, two biostable implantable biomaterials (polycarbonate urethane and poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) or SIBS), and next-generation intraocular lens materials. He is a serial innovator and entrepreneur with more than 120 issued U.S. patents and 90 publications, and is the founder or co-founder of 10 biomedical companies.

He was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2007, elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering in 2012 and awarded the 2017 Society for Biomaterials Technology, Innovation and Development Award. 

"Dr. Pinchuk epitomizes the spirit of innovation that our award was created to celebrate," said BioMed SA President Ann Stevens. "His heart and vision are clearly evident in a track record of transformative accomplishments in the fields of cardiology and ophthalmology that have benefitted hundreds of millions of patients globally."

"The recipient of this year's award is a nationally renowned scientist, engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur whose innovations inspire our goal to establish San Antonio as a recognized global leader in healthcare and bioscience," commented Walt Downing, BioMed SA Board Chair.

"I am most sincerely humbled by this recognition," said Dr. Pinchuk. "The esteemed thought leaders honored in years past personify innovation and to be considered among them is a true privilege. I look forward to visiting San Antonio and getting to know its vibrant biomedical community firsthand."

Dr. Pinchuk began his career in 1983 at Cordis Corporation and left in 1987 to co-found Corvita Corporation (angioplasty catheters, vascular grafts, stents, stent-grafts), which went public on the NASDAQ in 1994, was acquired by Pfizer, Inc. in 1996, and was then sold to Boston Scientific Corporation in 1998.

In 2002, Dr. Pinchuk founded Innovia LLC, which went on to incubate eight companies working in the fields of intraocular lenses, glaucoma shunts, radiation oncology catheters, urinary catheters, gene therapy and futuristic biomaterials. One of the Innovia spin-offs, InnFocus, Inc., developed a novel medical device to treat glaucoma and was acquired by Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Japan) in 2016. Dr. Pinchuk currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer at InnFocus. He continues to serve as Innovia's CEO and President and also enjoys an appointment as Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami.

Dr. Pinchuk received a B.Sc. in Chemistry from McGill University (1976), a Ph.D. interdisciplinary in Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Miami (1984) and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from McGill University (2005). He was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2007 and the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 and was awarded the 2017 Society for Biomaterials Technology, Innovation and Development Award. 

The BioMed SA Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience celebrates local and national innovators in the healthcare and bioscience field, including healthcare delivery, biomedical education, research and development, leadership, public policy and medical technology. Previous recipients of the BioMed SA Award include cancer immunotherapy pioneer George E. Peoples, Jr., M.D., FACS (2016); Nobel Prize winning chemist W.E. (William Esco) Moerner, Ph.D. (2015); nationally-renowned pediatric transplant surgeon and former Chancellor of The University of Texas System, Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., (2014); world-renowned engineer, medical inventor and entrepreneur from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., (2013); emergency medicine physician and the pioneer of today's leading intraosseous vascular access technology Larry Miller, M.D. (2012); president and co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D (2011); dean of engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. (2010); internationally acclaimed inventor Dean Kamen of DEKA Research & Development Corp. in New Hampshire (2009); San Antonio pediatric surgeons Drs. Robert Campbell, Melvin Smith (deceased) and Kaye Wilkins from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital (2008); president of The Commonwealth Fund in New York Karen Davis, Ph.D. (2007); and the inaugural honoree, Julio Palmaz, M.D., inventor of the Palmaz stent (2006).

The 2017 BioMed SA Award Dinner will take place September 13, 2017 at the Vista at Valero. Reservations can be made by calling 210-468-1848 or emailing


San Antonio, the seventh largest city in America, is increasingly recognized as a City of Science and Health as well as the Home of U.S. Military Medicine. Healthcare and bioscience are a leading engine of the city's economy, employing more than 1 of every 6 members of the San Antonio workforce, with an annual economic impact exceeding $37 billion. San Antonio's biomedical sector combines unique assets, diverse resources, and a tangible spirit of collaboration. Innovations that save lives around the world are being discovered, developed, and commercialized in San Antonio.

BioMed SA is a non-profit, membership-based organization, supported in part by the City of San Antonio. Its mission is to accelerate the growth of San Antonio's healthcare and bioscience sector, create regional economic benefit, and contribute to the health of San Antonio and beyond by establishing San Antonio as a global leader in healthcare and bioscience.

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