Start-up company Focal Inc. is amassing a top managementteam to steer it toward clinical trials of its first product, amedical device to prevent post-surgical adhesions.

The Cambridge, Mass., company announced last week that ithas brought on David Clapper as its president and chiefexecutive officer. Clapper takes the reins from founder MarkLevin (of the Mayfield Fund), who will continue as a member ofthe company's board of directors.

Clapper had been vice president and board member forJohnson & Johnson's medical device division, Critikon Inc.,where he was responsible for marketing, sales and businessdevelopment.

Joining Clapper at Focal is Richard Leavitt, who will assume thepost of vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs (he willalso be responsible for preclinical research). Leavitt mostrecently served as the director of clinical research at GeneticsInstitute Inc.

Rounding out the new team are Mary Lou Mooney, director ofregulatory affairs, and W. Bradford Smith, director of finance.Mooney came from C.R. Bard, where she was director ofregulatory affairs and quality assurance; Smith had been thedirector of finance at CytoTherapeutics Inc.

Now that the management team is in place, "Focal's nextchallenge is to solidify recent scientific success of preclinicaltesting in its adhesions and restenosis programs by movingthese products into clinical trials," said Levin. "We expect tobegin human trials of a product to prevent post-surgicaladhesions in early 1994."

Focal was formed in 1991 with financing from the MayfieldFund to commercialize what it calls focal interventionaltherapeutics -- the site-specific administration of cell-specifictherapy through minimally invasive procedures. In January thecompany raised $9.2 million in a private equity placement ofits series C preferred stock. A syndicate of venture capitalfirms participated in that offering, including the Mayfield Fund,Domain Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DelphiBioventures, Partech and Frazier & Co.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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