Vesalio is pleased to announce the addition of Earl Slee as a board observer and senior advisor to the company, effective immediately.
Earl brings over 35 years of medical device innovation and business development expertise to Vesalio. As an engineering and business innovator in the medical device space, Earl holds 28 U.S. patents, with innovations that have defined the standard of care in endovascular stroke treatment. The 1998 neurovascular start-up where he led R&D climbed from zero to over $1 billion in annual revenue. Most recently, he led the Technology, Strategy and Business Development group for Medtronic Brain Therapies – an organization focused on developing and commercializing endovascular therapies for hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, as well as other neurological conditions.
Earl joined Micro Therapeutics Inc. in 1998 as VP of R&D, where he led the development of a treatment for arteriovenous malformations. In 2006, after ev3 acquired Micro Therapeutics, he served as VP of R&D and invented the first stent-retriever for acute ischemic stroke (Solitaire FR). In 2010, after Covidien acquired ev3, Earl continued to serve as VP of R&D and Business Development and was integrally involved in launching the Pipeline Flow Diverter. When Medtronic acquired Covidien in 2015, Earl served as interim VP/General Manager of the Enabling Technology business (>$1B in annual revenue), earned the 2017 Patent of Distinction award, and was inducted as a Bakken Fellow in 2016. Earl retired from Medtronic in October 2020.
“I am impressed with the drive of Vesalio to create innovation focused on improving patient care during a life-threatening vascular event,” said Earl Slee. “We need to do more to ensure all patients with a blood clot get the help they need to live life as fully as possible. I look forward to being part of Vesalio’s effort to bring to market solutions that reimagine, improve and progress the treatment of vascular conditions.”
Earl holds a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in mechanical engineering from the University of California, San Diego. He also holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College and an MSEE from San Diego State University.
“We are delighted to have Earl Slee join our mission,” remarked Steve Rybka, Vesalio chief executive officer. “With his years of innovation and leadership in the neurovascular and neurosurgery markets, Earl’s guidance will be invaluable as we further develop the NeVaTM neurovascular platform and as we extend our proprietary clot removal technologies into other thrombectomy applications.”
Founded in 2013, Vesalio is a privately held medical device company focused on advancing patient care in vascular occlusion by providing physicians superior technology designed to improve clinical outcomes. The Company’s proprietary NeVa™ platform was designed to consistently achieve first-pass recanalization in acute ischemic stroke by effectively removing all types of neurovascular clots from patient anatomy. For more information, visit vesalio.com.
Vesalio is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Kujak as chairman of its Board of Directors. In this role, Mike will bring expert knowledge and know-how from his years of leadership in the medical device start-up space.
“Mike’s leadership experience in scaling multimillion-dollar medical device start-ups will be a valuable addition to our Board of Directors,” said David Adair, M.D., Vesalio board member and managing partner of venture capital firm Solas BioVentures. “With Mike, we’re even more excited by the collective expertise the board is bringing to Vesalio as we transform the way strokes are treated and position the company for long-term growth and profitability.”
Mike brings over 35 years of broad and strategic healthcare leadership experience in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, clinical research and payer economics. He currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Francis Medical, a start-up medical device company, developing water vapor technology for treating prostate cancer. Before Francis Medical, Mike was the chief marketing officer and senior vice president of International for NxThera, a start-up medical device company purchased by Boston Scientific. Prior to NxThera, he served as vice president and general manager of the Prostate Health business unit of American Medical Systems, which developed and commercialized medical device solutions to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate cancer and stone disease. Mike received his MBA from the OPUS College of Business, University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Science in physics and chemistry from the University of South Dakota.
“Vesalio’s revolutionary blood clot removal technology and focus on expanding its market globally make it an exciting time to join the company,” said Mike Kujak. “I look forward to bringing my years of experience in medical device start-ups, enterprise sales, and international commercialization to the board.”
“As a proven leader, Mike will have an immediate impact on our strategic execution,” remarked Steve Rybka, Vesalio chief executive officer. “His guidance and oversight will further enhance our ability to deliver life-saving innovation to physicians and their patients.”
Founded in 2013, Vesalio is a privately held medical device company committed to advancing patient care in vascular occlusion by providing physicians superior technology designed to improve clinical outcomes. The company’s proprietary NeVa™ platform was designed to consistently achieve first-pass recanalization in acute ischemic stroke by effectively removing all types of neurovascular clots from patient anatomy. For more information, visit vesalio.com.
About Solas BioVentures
Solas BioVentures is a venture capital firm that invests exclusively in the life science industry, focusing on early and development stage Biotech and MedTech companies advancing impactful, disruptive technologies. Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, its coverage is global. For more information, visit solasbio.com.