new hire

Houston med device company names new CEO

Jim Dillon has been named CEO of BiVACOR. Photo courtesy of BiVACOR

Houston-based medical device company BiVACOR has brought aboard a new CEO.

Jim Dillon, a longtime executive in the medical device sector, has been hired to lead BiVACOR and join its board of directors. Dillon succeeds former heart surgeon Dr. Thomas Vassiliades, whose appointment as CEO was announced in January 2022.

“Jim’s leadership style, combined with his experience in building high-performance teams as well as expertise in the heart failure field, makes him the ideal person to lead BiVACOR,” Raymond Cohen, chairman of BiVACOR, says in a news release.

Cohen was named chairman of BiVACOR in December 2023.

Most recently, Dillon was CEO of Massachusetts-based BioVentrix, a medical device company that focuses on minimally invasive procedures aimed at preventing heart failure. He previously held sales and marketing positions at medical device companies Abiomed, TherOx, and InfraReDx.

In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) paved the way for BiVACOR to conduct a first-in-human clinical feasibility study of its Total Artificial Heart product. The study, initially featuring three patients at Houston’s Texas Heart Institute, is set to start during the first half of 2024. It will evaluate the device’s use as a substitute for a heart transplant.

The device “is unique in its complexity and importance as an advanced treatment option for end-stage biventricular heart failure patients,” Dillon says, and promises “to truly revolutionize the field.”

About 100,000 patients suffering from severe heart failure could benefit from BiVACOR’s artificial heart, the company says. For these patients, drug therapy is limited and the health prognosis is bleak, given the scarcity of donor hearts around the world.

Founded in 2008, BiVACOR maintains its headquarters in Houston, along with offices in Huntington Beach, California, and Brisbane, Australia.

To date, BiVACOR has raised nearly $37.8 million, according to CB Insights. The company’s investors include Boston-based Cormorant Asset Management, Australia-based OneVentures, the Australia Department of Health, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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