Medical Devices

Minnesota hypertension treatment firm names new chief commercial officer

Privately held CVRx that has created an implantable device to treat high blood pressure announced Monday that it has named  Philippe Wanstok to the newly created position of chief commercial officer.

Wanstok will oversee the worldwide commercialization of the neurostimulation product called the Barostim Neo, which bear the CE Mark and is currently available in  Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. While the device received European approval in August 2011, it has run into some difficulties in the U.S.

Previously Wanstok was International General Manager of Commercial Operations with the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management division at Medtronic. He led  a worldwide team of 3,000 and the business generated more than $2.4 billion of revenues in active implantable devices.

“We are thrilled to have Philippe join the CVRx team,” said Nadim Yared, President and CEO of CVRx, in a news release. “Philippe’s consistently superb track record of accomplishments in the active implantable medical device market makes him ideally suited to lead CVRx’s worldwide commercial activities.”


An improvement upon the original Rheos system, the Barostim neo provides electrical stimulation to activate the baroreceptors – the blood pressure sensors responsible for cardiovascular function.

However, in the U.S. the company has found it difficult to get its device approved.

“We had a trial in the U.S. but it didn’t meet the clinical endpoint,” said John Brintnall, CVRx’s CFO in a phone interview. “We are in discussions with the FDA to design a new one and hope to have that started some time in 2012.”


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