Stephen W. Ritterbush MD

Dr. Ritterbush is the founder and senior partner of Fairfax Partners, a Washington, D.C. area technology investment company.  He served as the President and CEO of Cordex Systems from 2009 – 2014.  Over his career he has founded and built more than a dozen healthcare companies.   Seven of these companies were built around medical device technologies.  His companies have participated in nearly 20 clinical trials, eight of which he either directly manage or had direct oversight.

Among the healthcare companies Dr. Ritterbush has founded are:

  • APACHE Medical Systems, Inc., a software and database company that predicted outcomes and their associated costs for critically ill patients admitted to a hospital’s intensive care and critical care units.  The initial software and database were developed at the National Institutes of Health.  APACHE was sold to the Cerner Corporation in 1999.
  • DentureCare, Inc., a chain of low cost, consumer oriented, dental offices staffed by board certified dentists offering high quality care with offices located throughout the Eastern U.S. 
  • HealthASPex, Inc. an electronic web-based health care claims submission and processing company that was sold to a corporate acquirer in 2007

In the fall of 1991 Dr. Ritterbush’s investment partnership, Fairfax Partners, was one of three entities that joined together with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to form an investment consortium to invest in emerging medical technologies and healthcare services. J&J was interested in participating in this partnership in order to 1) identify technologies that might prove key to the company’s future success and 2) as a means to access the medical expertise that existed in these new investments that could eventually be transferred into J&J.  Between 1991-1996, Dr. Ritterbush helped to found three medical device companies and one therapeutic drug company: 

  • Indigo Medical, Inc., a less-invasive surgical company whose primary technology was based on a laser developed at and then licensed from Los Alamos National Labs.  Indigo was eventually acquired by J&J and is now one of its surgical divisions; 
  • CollaGenex, Inc a drug development company based on technologies that inhibit the action of collagenase enzymes within the body.  The company was taken public in 1999 and later acquired by Galderma Pharmaceuticals of Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Vaso Products, Inc, a company which developed less invasive surgical devices for the reduction and elimination of the effects of deep venous disease
  • OvaMed Corporation which designed and developed minimally invasive ob-gyn infertility surgical and endoscopic devices.  The company was sold to BEI Technologies of Sunnyvale, CA

Dr. Ritterbush was an early investor in Zoll Medical Corporation which designed and developed the first successful, FDA approved, portable defibrillator. Today the company is publicly traded and is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of these products worldwide.

Dr. Ritterbush also participated in the buy-out and turn-around for Cohr Inc., a California based company that provided outsourcing services for the maintenance, repair, and refurbishment of medical devices and equipment by offering its clients – including hospitals, integrated health systems, acute care facilities, and medical groups – long term, fixed cost equipment management plans.

In addition to his current role at Cordex Systems, Dr. Ritterbush serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advanced Software Systems, Sterling, VA.; and building on his experience with APACHE Medical Systems, he recently founded another medical outcomes company, OTiS Medical Analytics, Inc. that is based in Annapolis, Maryland.

Dr. Ritterbush holds a B.S. degree in Engineering and a B.A. degree in Political Science from Union College; a M.S. in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii; and a M.A. degree in Law and Diplomacy and a Ph.D. in International Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts and Harvard Universities.  Dr. Ritterbush has received fellowships from the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii and from the Rockefeller Foundation for study at the Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.