Empowering medical research through investment in technology.

About Us

The Ascent Group operates from offices in New York City, Minneapolis, Amman, and Salalah.


Peggy A. Farley.
Ms. Farley is Co-chairman of the Ascent Group, President and CEO of Ascent Capital Management and a Managing Director of the General Partner and co-founder of the Ascent Medical Technology Funds. From 1984, Ms. Farley was Chief Executive Officer of a set of firms that she developed as the locus for investment in the U.S. for non-US investors, engaging in venture capital investments, identifying and conducting acquisition transactions in the U.S. and South Asia as well as directing the management of private and corporate assets. She has a top-tier record of investment, is well known for expertise in the IPO markets, and has been very successful with private equity. From 1978 to 1984, she was with Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, in the International Group of the Corporate Finance Division. During her tenure with Morgan Stanley, she was advisor to the People’s Republic of China, working with Bank of China and other government ministries to better deploy foreign exchange and gold holdings. She also advised the country on approaching the principal capital markets to finance development programs. In addition, she conducted business with many of the top-ranking European and Japanese commercial banks and other foreign corporations, advising them on strategies for extending their reach into the U.S. markets, through both business combinations and tapping the capital markets. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Ms. Farley served as consultant to U.S. corporations, including Avon, Ingersoll-Rand, Citibank, and Morgan Stanley. Her career in business began in the mid-1970s in Citibank’s Athens-based Middle East and North Africa Regional Office, where she participated in the bank’s successful reach into those regional markets. She received her A.B. from Barnard College in 1970 and completed her graduate work at Columbia University.

Karl Groth, Ph.D.
Dr. Groth is Co-Chairman of the Ascent Group, is a co-founder of the Ascent Medical Technology Funds and a Managing Director of the General Partner Dr. Groth has over 30 years experience in the health care industry. He previously served as President and CEO of First Circle Medical Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of medical devices used in the treatment of patients with chronic intractable diseases. He also served as President and CEO of Browne Medical Systems, which he guided to a successful sale. Prior to joining Browne Medical Systems, Dr. Groth was Executive Vice President of InStent, Inc., Director, International Business for Heart Technology, Inc. and Vice President of Marketing for Clarus Medical, all start-ups that were harvested with great success. He also worked with Medtronic Inc. for a decade in a variety of business development management positions, including product planning, product development, and long range planning for the neuro division, three years in Paris, as Director of Non-Pacing Business for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Director of Business Development. Dr. Groth served as Senior Scientist in the Department of Infectious Disease at the University of Minnesota. His research work focused on the development of antiviral drugs and vaccines. He also published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in professional journals. Dr. Groth received his B.S. from the State University of New York in biology, his M.S. in plant physiology from New York University and his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Minnesota. In addition, Dr. Groth continues to publish and present on topics including vascular disease and endovascular intervention.

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board have been active in rendering technical consulting services to the Funds and providing scientific and market expertise to each of the disciplines in which investments have been made.

Daniel B. Carr, M.D.

Dr. Carr is the Chief Medical Officer for Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and is also the Saltonstall Professor of Pain Research in the Departments of Anesthesia and Medicine at Tufts-New England Medical Center, where he is also Vice Chairman for Research of NEMC’s Department of Anesthesia. He co-founded and co-directs Tufts’ multidisciplinary Master of Science degree program in Pain Research, Education and Policy. In March 2003, Dr. Carr was awarded the American Pain Society’s most prestigious honor, the Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award, for his internationally recognized and widely published research in pain management. His major research interests include clinical trials and outcomes research on pain therapies, systematic reviews and guidelines for pain therapies, and analgesic peptides and nociception. He co-chaired the AHCPR panels that developed clinical practice guidelines on management of acute and cancer-related pain. He has served as principal investigator on numerous drug studies, published over 80 original reports in refereed journals, written hundreds of reviews and chapters, and spoken around the world. Dr. Carr received his B.A. and M.A. in physics from Columbia University, and his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.

Stuart A. Grossman, M.D.
Dr. Grossman is a Professor of Oncology, Medicine and Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and serves as Director of Neuro-Oncology at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. He is also Chairman of the Brain Tumor Working Group for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. His current areas of special research interest include brain tumor therapy, cancer pain, and interventional radiology. Dr. Grossman serves on many boards and review committees, including PDQ, National Institutes of Health, NCI and NINCDS. He has published over 75 articles, delivered hundreds of lectures, and prepared hundreds of abstracts, chapters, book reviews, videotapes, and computer programs. He is the holder of two patents, and has served as Principal Investigator for an Investigational New Drug Application. Dr. Grossman received his B.A. from Harvard College, and his M.D. from University of Rochester Medical School.

Carol Lee, M.D.
Dr. Lee is Clinical Associate Professor of Opthalmology at New York University School of Medicine. Her current research projects include a placebo-controlled safety and efficacy study of HOE-901 (insulin like factors) in diabetic patients; a clinical study of incidence of vitrectomy in patients treated with panretinal photocoagulation; and a randomized controlled trial of melanoma treatment comparing dendritic cells vs QS-21 as adjuvants to stimulate tumor immunity. Dr. Lee has lectured throughout the United States, and has published 20 articles. Dr. Lee received her B.S. in biological sciences from Yale University, and her M.D. from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center.

Michael B. Lewis, M.D.
Dr. Lewis serves as a consultant to Massachusetts General Hospital, the Shriners’ Burns Institute, and the Franciscan Children’s Hospital. Formerly Associate Professor of Surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine and Chief, Division of Plastic Surgery at Tufts New England Medical Center, his major interests include cleft lip and palate, oral facial anomalies, and facial reconstruction. Dr. Lewis has published over 40 articles on plastic surgery topics and instructed at numerous national meetings. He has served on many committees, particularly for the American Cleft Palate Association. Dr. Lewis received his B.S. and M.D. degrees from Northwestern University.

Frederick L. Mansfield, M.D.
Dr. Mansfield is an Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School as well as an Assistant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital. His teaching and publishing interests include spinal disease and spine surgery. Dr. Mansfield supervises ward service management of patients with spinal disease and spine trauma at Massachusetts General Hospital, and is on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Orthopedic Association. Dr. Mansfield received his A.B. from Harvard College. He has a M.S.E.E. from Stanford University and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

The Business Advisory Board provides legal and business advice to the General Partner. Members have long and deep expertise in the international business and financial worlds.

Linda S. Alexander
Linda is CEO and founder of a Contract Research Organization(CRO) that is one of the largest private contract research organizations in the US, Alquest. Alquest has planned and managed over 700 clinical research projects for over 65 companies since its inception in 1993. Among many other accomplishments, Alquest has established worldwide regulatory and clinical strategy and requirements for over 50 medical devices including cardiovascular, audiology, interventional vascular, dental, neurovascular, orthopedic, plastic surgery, general surgery, neurology, gastroenterology and urology devices. Linda has led and spoken at many conferences, and seminars on regulatory and quality issues and is a recognized leader in the development of standards of and methodology for the conduct of effective and efficacious clinical research. Prior to establishing Alquest, Ms. Alexander served as Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance for Brennen Medical, Inc., and Director of Regulatory and Clinical Affiars for Bioplasty, Inc. At Medtronic, where she spent a decade, she filled many critical roles, all related to product development and regulatory management. Linda has a MS from the University of Minnesota and a BS from Iowa State University.

Zeyad Almajed
Presently, Zeyad is a consultant to important development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Formerly Economic Policy Development Manager for the Dubai Development and Investment Authority. Zeyad initiated development of the Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Internet City. He formulated strategy for OECD-MENA investment program. Before returning to Dubai, Zeyad had extensive experience in the US as a high level technology professional. His expertise includes the automotive, energy, and alternative energy, computer technology, and manufacturing arenas. His university education began withPatrick Lumumba University in Moscow and was completed at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Fadi Ghosaini
Mr. Ghosaini has had an extensive career in investment banking, having served premier institutions in the Middle East and in Europe. At Shuaa Capital in Dubai, Fadi was Managing Director and head of sales; he served Abraaj Capital in Dubai as Senior Vice President, directing Business Development. As Dubai’s regional markets were being organized, Fadi served in a key role to develop the market both conceptually and, once plans were formalized, to bring the plans to fruition. He was responsible for 90% of the revenue generation for the Exchange and was a member of the Senior Management Committee and responsible for the Corporate Finance, Product Development and Membership Services Departments. Fadi laid down the framewok for indices and derivatives. Prior to his time in Dubai, Mr. Ghosaini was a Director of Deutsche Bank, responsible for sales and marketing of all Global Equity Derivative products in the Middle East. Earlier experience included responsibility for ABN/AMRO’s equity product distribution in the Middle East and North Africa; in London, institutional sales for Jordan International Bank, and coverage of institutions for Lehman Brothers International in London. Fadi holds a MS in Business Finance from Brunel University in England, and a BA from Royal Holloway & Bedford College in London.

David L. Johnson, Esq.
Mr. Johnson has been a partner of Morris, Downing & Sherred, a prestigious New Jersey law firm, for 21 years. Mr. Johnson resides as Co-Chairman of the Newton Memorial Hospital Board, and is an active member of the Sussex County Bar Association, the Red Cross Board, and the American Trial Lawyer Association. Mr. Johnson is a member of both the New York and New Jersey Bar Associations. Mr. Johnson graduated Cum Laude from Duke University in 1970 and received his JD with honors from University of Maryland School of Law in 1975 and was a member of the University of Maryland Law Review.

Ali Abdel Khaleq, M.D.
General Director of Emirates-Jordan Project Management Co. (Scope). His career has spanned 16 years of general manager positions in medical manufacturing and service companies in Jordan. Educated in Jordan, the U.S., and Germany, Dr. Khaleq is accredited in both medicine and business.

Howard J. Leonhardt
President, CEO and Founder, Bioheart, Inc., a company specializing in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In 1986, founded and served as CEO of World Medical Manufacturing Corporation, a medical technology company that produced cardiovascular balloon catheters and later developed other products, including stent grafts for aortic aneurysm repair. The company was sold very productively to Medtronic. He is also founder of World Biotech, a private investment fund specializing in biotechnology companies. Mr. Leonhardt graduated from Anoka-Hennepin Technical College with an International Trade degree. He received an honorary Doctorate of Biomedical Engineering from the University of Northern California and serves as Consulting Professor and Board Advisor to Florida International University’s Biomedical Engineering Institute. In 2004, he received CEI’s Clark Butler Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mr. Leonhardt holds seven U.S. patents in the cardiovascular sciences and has numerous patents pending worldwide.

Stephan W. Norsted, Ph.D.
President and Founder, Regulatory & Clinical Research Institute, Inc. Dr. Norsted has extensive experience in medical research, quality systems, and regulatory submissions and has been involved in the design, conduct, and analysis of preclinical and clinical studies for over twenty years. In his current position, Dr. Norsted is responsible for defining and implementing regulatory and compliance strategies for medical device manufacturers, as well as designing the protocols, monitoring activities, and analysis plans for preclinical and clinical trials of medical products. Prior to that, he was a Vice President at Regulatory Strategies, Inc. where he was responsible for the provision of a complete spectrum of regulatory and clinical consulting services to medical device manufacturing companies. Dr. Norsted has lectured at graduate schools on these topics, served as an Epidemiologist for the Washington State Health Department, and has led numerous companies successfully through the preparation process for MDD/EN-46001 certification, including Urologix, Inc., Puritan-Bennett Corporation and Guidant Corporation. In addition, he holds a patent on a Method for Treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia with Thermal Therapy. He holds a Ph.D. and M.P.H. in Epidemiology/Biostatistics from the University of Texas and University of Minnesota, respectively.

Ennis Rimawi
Ennis is the founder of Catalypse, a fund dedicated to investment in the telecommunications and energy arenas in the Middle East. Prior to founding that venture capital fund, Ennis founded and served as CEO and Vice Chairman of Estarta Solutions, a company domiciled in Jordan specializing in software solutions for businesses. He also founded Oneworld Software Solutions and obtained funding from Microsoft and Cisco Systems, with which Estarta has business relations. His career has included the Ford Motor Company Leadership Program, United Technologies research projects and investing in Middle East based companies. Ennis has two degrees from MIT.

Howard S. Weintraub, Ph.D.
Dr. Weintraub is Principal of Landfall Therapeutics consulting Group, LLC. Dr. Weintraub has more than 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical and medical device research and development. He was formerly VP of R&D for CR Bard, spent 15 years at Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho division, where he started and built the drug metabolism and clinical pharmacology organizations, and 10 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was responsible for dermatological and wound care research at the Convatec division and licensed and developed Dovonex, the topical antipsorriatic. His Ph.D. is in biopharmaceutics from SUNY at Buffalo and B.S. in Pharmacy from Columbia University.

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