Alfred E. Mann 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 are:
- MannKind Corporation, which develops novel therapeutics and drug delivery technologies for treatment of diabetes, metabolic disease and cancer
- Bioness, which develops and manufactures systems to address neural deficits and to restore controlled function of limbs
- Second Sight, which has developed visual prostheses to restore sight to the blind
- IncuMed, which is developing novel percutaneous seals for various applications
- perQflo, which is developing drug delivery systems
The first two companies that Mr. Mann founded were 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 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.
From 1985 to 2006, Mr. Mann founded, endowed, and 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 was the 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 served 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.
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. Mannkind Corporation has developed an ultra-fast-acting insulin that mimics normal physiology. AFREZZA® significantly improves care for early stage type 2 diabetics. The PerQFlo basal patch pump is also intended to more effectively treat type 1 and later type 2 diabetes.
Mr. Mann also founded a number of other companies. He 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, including cochlear implants and spinal cord stimulators. 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. Cochlear implants enable profoundly deaf people to hear. Second Sight, founded by Mann and others in 1998, has developed and has approval in the U.S. and Europe for a system to restore sight to the blind. Bioness, established in 2004, and AMF are both developing systems to enable the lame to walk. Mr. Mann also created Quallion (now part of EnerSys), which develops, manufactures and markets advanced lithium batteries and Stellar Microelectronics (now Flextronics), which manufactures advanced electronic assemblies under contract. Both companies were sold in 2013.
Mr. Mann held 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, 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.
Mr. Mann was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has received numerous honors and awards from the private and public sectors.