Mission and History
In 1968, Alfred Mann made a donation to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to support development of a smaller, longer-lasting cardiac pacemaker. At that time, pacemakers weighed about half a pound and required major surgical replacement every 18-21 months. In 1969, Johns Hopkins persuaded Mr. Mann to form a company to take over the development.
That company, Pacesetter Systems (now St. Jude Medical Corporation), developed a small and very long-lived pacemaker with many disruptive advances. Those innovations enabled the company to grow rapidly into the second largest cardiac pacemaker company, improving the lives of countless individuals.
From that experience, Mr. Mann concluded that while great research is created in universities, rarely does that work translate into products that benefit the public. Pondering on how the process could be improved, he decided in 1985 to establish the Alfred Mann Foundation to bridge basic research in medicine and to create products that filled unmet and poorly-met needs. During these intervening years,
AMF has advanced many new technologies, fulfilling Mr. Mann’s visions for improving the lives of people in need. AMF was established with a mandate to develop medical technologies that will be made accessible to the public. In the 26 years since, AMF has charted an aggressive path of bring-ing life-enhancing technologies to those in greatest need by adhering to its mission statement: To develop and commercialize innovative solutions for significant unmet or poorly met medical conditions.
Alfred E. Mann has founded and largely funded 17 companies in his career. Two companies became public and ten were acquired at an overall total of almost $8 billion. The companies currently within the family:
MannKind Corporation, which develops novel therapeutics and drug delivery technologies for treatment primarily of diabetes, metabolic disease and cancer;
Bioness, which develops and manufactures systems to address neural deficits and to restore controlled function of paralyzed limbs to address peripheral pain;
Second Sight, which is developing visual prostheses to restore sight to the blind;
IncuMed, which is developing novel percutaneous seals for various applications; and
perQflo, which is developing drug delivery systems; and
Additionally, Mr. Mann founded and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MiniMed Inc. from its founding in 1993 until August 2001 when it was acquired by Medtronic, Inc. Medtronic MiniMed develops, manufactures and distributes microinfusion systems and continuous glucose monitoring systems that have revolutionized the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Mr. Mann also founded and funded Medical Research Group (MRG) which was developing an artificial pancreas. MRG was also acquired by Medtronic in 2001. Mr. Mann’s extensive experience with type 1 diabetes at MiniMed led him to explore therapies to improve outcomes for people with type 2 diabetes which is a pandemic challenging the entire world. Mannkind Corporation has developed an ultra-fast-acting insulin that mimics normal physiology. AFREZZA® will significantly improve care for early stage type 2 diabetics and along with the PerQFlo basal patch pump will more effectively treat type 1 and later type 2 diabetes.
Mr. Mann also founded and served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Bionics Corporation (AB), from its founding in 1993 until it was acquired by Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC) in 2004. Advanced Bionics developed neurostimulation devices for various neural deficits, beginning with cochlear stimulators and moving on to various other neurostimulation applications. In 2008 Mr. Mann and others acquired from BSC the portion of AB which develops, manufactures and distributes cochlear implant devices. That business was later acquired by Sonova Holding along with PercuPort. The cochlear implants of AB enable the deaf to hear quite well. Second Sight has developed and now has approval in the U.S. and Europe for a system to restore sight to the blind. Bioness and AMF are both developing systems to enable the lame to walk. Mr. Mann also created Quallion, which develops, manufactures and markets advanced lithium batteries and Stellar Microelectronics, which manufactures advanced electronic assemblies under contract. Both companies were sold in 2013.
Mr. Mann also founded and was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Pacesetter Systems, Inc., which developed, manufactured and distributed cardiac pacemakers, from 1972 until 1985 when it was acquired by Siemens, AG. From 1985 to September 1992, Mr. Mann continued to serve as Chairman and CEO of the successor company, Siemens-Pacesetter, Inc., Pacesetter is now the Cardiac Rhythm Management unit of St. Jude Medical.
Prior to 1972, Mr. Mann was President of Spectrolab, an electro-optical and aerospace systems company, and Heliotek, a semiconductor and electro-optical components manufacturer. Mr. Mann founded these companies in 1956 and 1960, respectively, sold them to Textron Inc. in 1960 and continued to lead them until 1972, when he left for Pacesetter. They are now part of the Boeing Company.
Mr. Mann founded and endowed, and from 1985 until 2006 served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Alfred Mann Foundation, a nonprofit research organization devoted to development of advanced medical products in a variety of fields. Mr. Mann is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Alfred Mann Institutes at the University of Southern California and The Technion Institute (Israel), medical research foundations founded and endowed principally by Mr. Mann. He also serves as a Trustee for the University of Southern California, and as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Keck USC School of Medicine.
Mr. Mann holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles and honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California, The Johns Hopkins University, Western University and the Technion Institute (Israel), as well as Research Professor, University of Southern California, and Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Bioengineering, University of California Los Angeles.