ORFID Corporation, a UCLA spin-out, Receives Initial Funding from PDC and Convergent Ventures
LOS ANGELES, CA-February 18, 2004-ORFID Corporation, a company developing an entirely new class of organic electronics based on conductive polymers, announced today that it has received initial funding from Precision Dynamics Corporation, of San Fernando, California, and Convergent Ventures, a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm. The terms of the funding were not disclosed.
ORFID is based on pioneering, multi-disciplinary research, issued patents, new intellectual property, engineering advancements and actual products emerging from two important sources: The laboratory of Dr. Yang Yang, Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Precision Dynamics, a leading manufacturer and distributor of personal identification management products, including wearable RFID (radio frequency identification) wristband systems. Dr. Yang has served as a consultant to Precision Dynamics, which has sought to develop new methods for producing its RFID identification products using flexible organic materials that can be incorporated more effectively and economically into wearable RFID devices.
"I am enormously pleased to see the results of my team's research at UCLA become the basis for a new company in an important new field," said Dr. Yang, the scientific founder of ORFID, who has been at UCLA since 1997. Prior to UCLA, Dr. Yang was a product development engineer at Uniax Corporation of Santa Barbara, which was acquired by DuPont in March 2000. Dr. Yang also observe that "organic electronics have the potential to replace silicon-based electronics in many existing applications, and to enable the creation of new products that cannot be produced using conventional inorganic materials."
ORFID's technology will enable manufacturing of new products such as electronic smart labels, flexible displays, intelligent packaging, biosensors, and medical devices. The company's novel technology for inkjet printing of conductive polymers has the potential to improve substantially the economics of the electronics industry. ORFID's inkjet printing technology will revolutionize manufacturing of electronics, especially when product features such as flexibility, customizability, and low cost are highly important.
Dr. Walter W. Mosher, Jr., co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Precision Dynamics said, "As a successful operating company with years of manufacturing expertise and well defined markets ranging from healthcare to patron identification, we see ORFID as a wonderful opportunity to capitalize upon the expertise we have established in-house, particularly in the rapidly growing field of RFID technology. Our own work in the development of the Smart Band® RFID wristband system has led us to believe that the potential to produce smart electronic devices on flexible substrates is virtually limitless. For this reason, Precision Dynamics decided to join forces with Dr. Yang and Convergent Ventures to create ORFID, a company dedicated to organic electronics."
ORFID will be lead initially by a management team composed of key executives from Convergent Ventures, Precision Dynamics, and from the semiconductor and materials industries.
Dr. Jonathan Lasch, Managing Director at Convergent Ventures, will serve as the founding Chairman and CEO of ORFID. Dr. Lasch, a materials scientist, has been a co-founder, early executive and/or advisor to three previous companies based on polymer technology: Cyrano Sciences, Materia, and Calhoun Vision. He was also a co-founder and CEO of Neurion Pharmaceuticals, a portfolio company of Convergent Ventures. Prior to becoming a technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Dr. Lasch was Vice President of Technology Development at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Earlier in his career, he was a research chemist and corporate research manager at PPG Industries, a leading manufacturer of paints, coatings, and resins.
"Some of the greatest new developments in science and technology have occurred at the interface between different disciplines," said Dr. Lasch. "ORFID's ability to integrate organic materials, RFID technology and electronics is exactly the kind of opportunity I like, and exactly what many potential corporate partners and investors are looking for."
Until ORFID establishes its combined headquarters and R&D facilities, the company will be co-located with Convergent Ventures at 11766 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1420, Los Angeles, California, 90025. ORFID's telephone number is 310-444-3241 and its web address is www.orfid.com. Initial inquiries about ORFID should be directed to Dr. Jonathan Lasch, Chairman and CEO, or Dr. David Margolese, Vice President of Technology Development.
About Precision Dynamics Corporation (PDC)
PDC is a privately held manufacturer with ISO-9001certification. The company is a pioneer in automatic identification technology, having introduced the first patient bar code ID wristband system in 1984 and radio frequency identification (RFID) wristband systems in 2000. In addition to its expanding line of identification products, PDC also provides premium healthcare products for labor & delivery, urology, and other applications. For more information, call 818.897.1111 or visit the company's web site at www.pdcorp.com.
About Convergent Ventures
Convergent Ventures is a venture investment and development firm whose goal is to create, fund and manage new life science and technology companies in close collaboration with leading scientists from major academic and biomedical research institutions in the Greater Los Angeles area. Convergent's debut fund, now referred to as CV-I, includes ORFID Corporation and Neurion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a drug discovery company based on neuroscience research from the California Institute of Technology. Convergent Ventures takes a unique approach to building successful new companies by combining multidisciplinary technical expertise, years of commercial operating experience, and a "hands-on" management approach that helps to ensure the early success of its portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.convergentventures.com.
About ORFID Corporation (ORFID)
ORFID is a privately held company developing an entirely new class of organic electronics based on conductive polymers. ORFID's technology will enable the manufacture of new products such as electronic smart labels, flexible displays, intelligent packaging, digital textiles, biosensors, and medical devices. The company's novel technology for inkjet printing of conductive polymers has the potential to improve substantially the economics of the electronics industry. ORFID is based in Los Angeles, and can be found on the web at www.orfid.com.