Honoree Headshot

Matthew Likens

President & CEO
GT Medical Technologies, Inc.
TEMPE, AZ, FOUNDED 2017
Industry � Medical Devices

Matthew Likens has been involved in the medical device industry for 44 years, including 23 years with Baxter International Inc., based in Deerfield, Illinois, and 21 years with three startup companies.

When he’s done in his current role as President and CEO at GT Medical Technologies, Inc., he feels it will be his responsibility to share the knowledge and lessons from all that experience with others.

“After moving on from my current responsibilities I plan on helping early-stage companies and their management teams in achieving their potential by learning from the lessons I have gleaned over the years,” Likens said.

“It would be a shame for others to not benefit from my lessons learned.”

GT Medical Technologies, Inc. makes medical devices for use in treating cancer, including GammaTile Therapy, a radiation implant to improve the lives of patients with operable brain tumors.

Gammatile LLC was founded in 2011 by five brain tumor specialists, including a neurosurgeon, three radiation oncologists and their clinical research coordinator. GammaTile Therapy alters the typical course of treatment after brain tumor surgery. Typically, patients come back post-surgery for external beam radiation treatments for one to six weeks.The treatments are difficult and marked by hair loss and nausea, and roughly 50% of tumors recur within 12 months.

With GammaTile Therapy, radiation seeds are embedded in the last five minutes of surgery, “tiling the cavity created by tumor removal,” the company said. “These tiles apply a lethal dose of energy to residual cells while protecting remaining eloquent brain tissue due to the structural offset of seeds that prevents them from directly contacting brain tissue.”

After hitting the market in the United States in March 2020, GT Medical now has over 60 adopting hospitals in the U.S. and over 400 GammaTile procedures performed. The company has 42 employees, 24 issued patents and a plan to increase its sales and marketing resources dramatically.

Over the next five years, GT Medical Technologies, Inc. expects to grow from $7.7 million in revenue in 2021 to close to $100 million. The company plans to provide GammaTile Therapy to more than 3,000 patients per year while achieving better outcomes than today’s standards of care. The plan is to expand GammaTile Therapy to fight cancer cells in other parts of the body, including the spine, head, neck and pancreas.

After graduation from Kent State University in 1975, Likens joined Johnson & Johnson’s Permacel Tape Division and was a sales representative based in Minneapolis. He eventually joined Baxter Healthcare in May 1978 and worked his way up through the sales department, taking a role at the company as European vice president of marketing in Munich, Germany, from 1993-1995. He ran Baxter’s U.S. dialysis business from 1998 until he left the company in 2001 for a startup opportunity.

In 2006, Likens moved to Mesa to become President, CEO and second employee at Ulthera, Inc. In 2016, Likens was named President and CEO of GT Medical Technologies, Inc.

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Honoree Fun fact

Matt is sometimes thought of as frugal. Although he and his wife Nancy dated in college, after graduation neither was ready to get married. They went their separate ways for five years and then reunited. At that point they decided to get married. Matt had won a coveted Baxter annual sales contest that featured first class accommodations on a ten-day tour of England and France. Since corporate rules in 1980 declared that couples could only travel together on such a trip if they were married, Nancy somehow organized a wonderful wedding in just six weeks. So, in essence, we went on our honeymoon with nine other couples, but the company paid for it.

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