PQ Bypass, a medical technology company pioneering a fully percutaneous approach to femoral-popliteal bypass surgery, announced on 14 September 2016 the addition of several medical technology industry veterans to its leadership team and Board of Directors. Most notably, Peter Wehrly has assumed the role of president and chief executive officer (CEO), with Heather Simonsen joining as vice president of Global Marketing and Christopher Owens as the newest member of the Board of Directors.
Wehrly is an industry veteran with significant executive leadership experience across product development, commercialisation, marketing and sales, and international markets. Previous roles include group president of Developed Markets, and group president of Respiratory & Monitoring Solutions, Vascular Therapies, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada at Covidien. Prior to joining Covidien, Wehrly served as a Medtronic senior vice-president and president of the +US$3 billion Spinal, Biologics and Navigation Division of Medtronic. Before Medtronic, Wehrly spent 17 years at DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, having also served as its division president. Additionally, Wehrly currently serves on the Board of Directors for Re-Walk Robotics.
“PQ Bypass has an innovative platform designed to address the unmet needs of patients with long-segment peripheral arterial disease,” said Wehrly. “The company is at a vital inflection point as we prepare for key milestones, including CE mark and presentation of additional clinical results from the PQ Detour procedure. I am excited about the opportunity to partner with this highly-qualified team to bring this important technology to market.”
PQ Bypass has developed a proprietary technology suite that enables a fully percutaneous femoral-popliteal bypass, known as the PQ Detour procedure, which is designed to provide long-term durability while minimising trauma to the body, reducing hospital length of stay, and minimising the rehabilitation period associated with open surgery. Under fluoroscopic guidance, a series of proprietary PQ stent grafts are deployed from the popliteal artery into the femoral vein, and from the femoral vein into the superficial femoral artery in a continuous, overlapping fashion through two independent anastomoses. The final result is a large lumen, endograft bypass that delivers unobstructed, pulsatile flow from the superficial femoral artery ostium to the popliteal artery.
Joining Wehrly’s leadership team is Heather Simonsen, also a veteran of the medical technology industry, having spent more than 20 years in various marketing and general management roles of increasing responsibility. Simonsen has been responsible for bringing more than a dozen endovascular devices to the market and has served in senior marketing leadership roles at venture-funded medical technology startups as well as Fortune 500 companies, including Abbott and Johnson & Johnson. Simonsen is currently on the founders’ board of advisors for the Stanford University-affiliated StartX Accelerator and has served on the board of directors of both the Medical Marketing Association and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
Additionally, Christopher Owens joined the PQ Bypass Board of Directors. Currently president and CEO of Gynesonics, Owens brings more than 20 years of experience in the medical device industry and relevant market insights to his role. Prior to joining Gynesonics, he was the president and CEO of IDEV Technologies, a privately held medical device company focused on the peripheral vascular market and acquired by Abbott in 2013.
In the past year, the company has made significant progress against several key milestones. Enrolment in DETOUR I, a first-in-man clinical efficacy trial of its percutaneous femoral-popliteal bypass procedure, was recently completed. The data from DETOUR I will be used to support application for CE mark approval, which is expected in late 2016.