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Abbott Vascular executive assumes CMO role at Abiomed

Abiomed, maker of the Impella heart pump, has appointed Charles (Chuck) Simonton, M.D., as vice president and chief medical officer.
Dr. Simonton is renowned for his leadership in product development and large-scale clinical trials. He was most recently at Abbott Vascular, where he served as chief medical officer and divisional vice president of Global Medical Affairs since 2008. At Abbott Vascular, he led the programs that resulted in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of carotid stents, MitraClip and Absorb BVS, in addition to the EXCEL and COAPT trials. Prior to Abbott, Dr. Simonton spent almost 30 years as an interventional cardiologist working with complex cardiac and vascular patients. He started at Duke University Medical Center then moved to the Sanger Clinic in Charlotte, N.C., where he created his own research team to study patient outcomes following the use of new cardiac technologies. Dr. Simonton founded the Carolinas Cardiovascular Research Foundation at the Carolinas Heart Institute, which is now part of Atrium Health.

He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and did his internship, residency and chief residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and his cardiology fellowship at Duke University.

Dr. Simonton’s appointment comes as Abiomed accelerates its clinical research, including multiple U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) randomized control trials (RCTs) such as the STEMI-DTU RCT, the PROTECT IV RCT, and the RECOVER IV RCT. Dr. Simonton will also play an integral role as Abiomed launches new, innovative products and incorporates artificial intelligence.

“I am excited to be a part of Abiomed’s dedicated team focused on developing innovative medical devices. Over the years, I have become very familiar with the benefits of Impella and its ability to unload the heart and have seen how it is transforming the standard of care. I am impressed with Abiomed’s talent, culture, and mission and I am thrilled to be joining the company,” said Dr. Simonton.

Dr. Seth Bilazarian, who has been vice president and chief medical officer of Abiomed since 2015, will assume medical leadership of Abiomed’s physician education and training programs as vice president, medical education and training, as Abiomed grows its online education offering with CAMP PCI and creates virtual proctoring programs. Dr. Bilazarian has been instrumental in guiding and executing medical professional education and training at Abiomed. His new role, which will report to Dr. Simonton, will expand upon those responsibilities and further differentiate Abiomed as an industry leader.

“The addition of Dr. Chuck Simonton makes our medical office even stronger,” said Michael R. Minogue, Abiomed’s chairman, president, and CEO. “Chuck’s impressive record of accomplishments and expertise will complement Seth’s leadership in advancing our education and training programs and help Abiomed rise to the next level for our patients and physicians.”

The Impella 2.5 and Impella CP devices are FDA PMA approved to treat certain advanced heart failure patients undergoing elective and urgent percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), such as stenting or balloon angioplasty, to reopen blocked coronary arteries. The Impella 2.5, Impella CP, Impella CP with SmartAssist, Impella 5.0, Impella LD, and Impella 5.5 with Smart Assist are FDA-approved heart pumps used to treat heart attack or cardiomyopathy patients in cardiogenic shock, and have the unique ability to enable native heart recovery, allowing patients to return home with their own heart. The Impella RP is FDA approved to treat right heart failure or decompensation following left ventricular assist device implantation, myocardial infarction, heart transplant, or open-heart surgery. The Impella RP is also authorized for emergency use by healthcare providers (HCP) in the hospital setting for providing temporary right ventricular support for up to 14 days in critical care patients with a body surface area ≥1.5 m2, for the treatment of acute right heart failure or decompensation caused by complications related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), including pulmonary embolism (PE).

In Europe, the Impella 2.5, Impella CP and Impella CP with SmartAssist are CE marked for treatment of high-risk PCI and AMI cardiogenic shock patients for up to 5 days. Impella 5.0 and Impella LD are CE marked to treat heart attack or cardiomyopathy patients in cardiogenic shock for up to 10 days. The Impella 5.5 with Smart Assist is CE marked to treat heart attack or cardiomyopathy patients in cardiogenic shock for up to 30 days. The Impella RP is CE marked to treat right heart failure or decompensation following left ventricular assist device implantation, myocardial infarction, heart transplant, open-heart surgery, or refractory ventricular arrhythmia. –MPO
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