Vesalio has announced the addition of Earl Slee as a board observer and senior advisor to the company, effective immediately. According to a company press release, Slee brings more than 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 US patents, with innovations that have “defined the standard of care in endovascular stroke treatment”—the release also notes.
Most recently, he led the Technology, Strategy and Business Development group for Medtronic Brain Therapies—an organisation focused on developing and commercialising endovascular therapies for haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke, as well as other neurological conditions.
He became vice-president of research and development (R&D) at neurovascular start-up Micro Therapeutics in 1998, going on to front the development of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) treatment and helping the company’s annual revenue climb from zero to more than US$1 billion.
In 2006, after Ev3 acquired Micro Therapeutics, Slee served as vice-president of R&D and, according to the release, played a key role in the invention of Solitaire FR, the first stent-retriever for acute ischaemic stroke. In 2010, following Covidien’s acquisition of Ev3, he continued to serve as vice-president of R&D and Business Development, and was integrally involved in launching the Pipeline flow diverter.
Then, when Medtronic acquired Covidien in 2015, Slee served as interim vice-president/general manager of the Enabling Technology business (>US$1 billion in annual revenue), earned the 2017 Patent of Distinction award and was inducted as a Bakken Fellow in 2016, before retiring 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 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.”
Slee holds a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in mechanical engineering from the University of California, San Diego (San Diego, USA). He also holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College in Hanover, USA and an MSEE from San Diego State University.
“We are delighted to have Earl Slee join our mission,” said Vesalio CEO Steve Rybka. “With his years of innovation and leadership in the neurovascular and neurosurgery markets, Earl’s guidance will be invaluable as we further develop the NeVa neurovascular platform and as we extend our proprietary clot removal technologies into other thrombectomy applications.”