IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 7, 2011-CardiAQ Valve Technologies (CVT), which is developing the world's first self-conforming and self-anchoring technology for Transcatheter Mitral Valve Implantation (TMVI), today announced that it has appointed Rob Michiels (http://www.cardiaq.com/Michielspr.wmv), 61, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately. Mr. Michiels will remain as a Director of CVT.
Brent Ratz, the Company's founding CEO, will remain a Director and President of CVT and assume the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO), also effective immediately.
Most recently, Michiels was President and COO at CoreValve, which was acquired by Medtronic for $700 million plus milestone payments in April 2009. A 30-year veteran of the medical device industry, he has also served as CEO of VenPro, General Manager/Corporate Officer of EndoSonics, and President/COO of InterVentional Technologies. His leadership contributed strongly to the market-leading positions and subsequent acquisitions of each of the technologies represented. Michiels is a founding partner of CONSILIUM, a medical device market research company that is also active in identifying, funding, and greenhousing start-up technologies. In 2002, Michiels led the original angel investment in CoreValve. Fluent in English, French and Dutch languages, he holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Antwerp University, Belgium, and a master's degree in business administration (MBA) from Indiana University.
"Given Rob's great success in shepherding the evolution and growth of the TAVI business from the ground up at CoreValve, I am personally very excited that I was able to convince him to join us full-time," said Mr. Ratz. "I am looking forward to working even more closely with Rob on establishing CVT as the undisputed leader in TMVI."
"As already demonstrated on the aortic side, heart valve therapy will transition to a less-invasive protocol during the coming decade. Within that new paradigm, CVT is exceptionally positioned to offer a percutaneous implantation procedure for the definitive treatment of Mitral Regurgitation, a market that we have conservatively identified as a $2 billion opportunity," said Mr. Michiels.
"While several companies are trying to perfect a percutaneous approach to repair the mitral valve, I feel that these will have a very difficult time demonstrating sufficient efficacy in treating a disease that is very diverse, while CVT's non-surgical valve implantation approach could become a disruptive technology with a much broader application," added Mr. Michiels.
About CardiAQ Valve Technologies
Privately held CVT, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., has developed a proprietary system for Transcatheter Mitral Valve Implantation (TMVI). Through the combination of a unique anchoring mechanism and a novel delivery catheter, physicians will be able to accurately and securely implant a new mitral valve within a beating heart, thus avoiding open-heart surgery. The CVT procedure is designed to be performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory similar to angioplasty or stenting, resulting in less trauma to the patient and substantial cost-savings to the healthcare system.