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Tempe’s GT Medical Technologies names new CEO to replace outgoing leader

AZ Inno

GT Medical Technologies Inc. has named its new CEO to replace Matt Likens, who has retired as founding CEO of the Tempe-based medical device company.

Technology veteran Per Langoe is the new C-suite leader of GT Medical Technologies, which has FDA approval to treat patients with operable brain tumors.

Likens was the first investor and one of the first two employees of the company in October 2017.

Since that time, he has been instrumental in raising $70 million for the tech firm, which now has 68 employees. Of that, $45 million was raised in March 2023 to expand its technology to treat patients with operable brain tumors.

“I’m really feeling the company has made great strides and continues to grow,” Likens said, who announced to the board last year that he would be planning an exit.

“You get to a certain point in life,” he said. “We have three grandchildren in various parts of the country. We’re not getting any younger.”

When Langoe’s name surfaced in a nationwide search, Likens knew he would be a good fit for the company.

They had met about 10 years ago when Langoe was business development director for Galderma, a division of Nestle Corp.

At the time, Galderma had approached Likens about possibly acquiring Ulthera Inc., where Likens was president and CEO of the biotech company specializing in lifting and tightening skin around the face using ultrasound.

While Ulthera ended up selling to German pharmaceutical company Merz Pharma for $600 million, Likens was impressed with Langoe.

“When I first met him I was very impressed with him at the time,” Likens said of Langoe. “He was very smart. That was my first exposure to him. We hadn’t really stayed in touch. It was so positive when his name came up in the search. I had a very positive impression of him.”

Most recently, Langoe was president and CEO of Santa Barbara, California-based Palette Life Sciences, a global life sciences company he co-founded. Palette was acquired by Pennsylvania-based Teleflex in 2023.

One of Palette’s major customer groups was radiation oncologists, which also is a major customer group of GT Medical Technologies, Likens said.

In 2018 GT Medical’s GammaTile Therapy received FDA clearance for recurrent brain tumors. By 2020, it received clearance for newly diagnosed malignant tumors. More than 1,200 patients have received GammaTile therapy.

“With his work at Palette, he has an ideal background for him to come in and take over the reins,” Likens said.

While Likens said he looks forward to spending more time with his three grandchildren, he also said he would be interested in consulting or serving on boards to share his knowledge and expertise.

“We want a little more independence as far as the ability to visit goes,” he said. “We are moving on to the next stage of life.”

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