April 9, 2020 – Executive recruitment firm Caliber Associates has placed Chris Folk as vice president of engineering for Carlsbad, CA-based Ra Medical Systems, a medical device company which commercializes excimer lasers and catheters for the treatment of vascular and dermatological diseases. The assignment was spearheaded by Steven P. Hochberg, the search firm’s founder and CEO.
With more than 20 years of engineering experience primarily in medtech, Dr. Folk has led the design, development and engineering of novel medical devices with highly specific design requirements, leading to commercial success. In this newly created position, Dr. Folk will report to Andrew Jackson, Ra Medical Systems’ interim CEO and CFO.
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“Chris is an experienced leader, engineer and inventor who brings to Ra Medical highly relevant expertise in engineering transformational products and bringing game-changing medical devices to market,” said Mr. Jackson. “He has managed teams responsible for more than 20 device development programs at firms ranging from start-ups to multinationals.”
“Notably, Chris has significant experience with catheters from his years at Covidien Neurovascular/ev3, where he led the commercial launch of three 510(k) catheters,” said Mr. Jackson. “We view his appointment as a significant step in improving the design and manufacturing of the DABRA catheter to enhance its consistency and extend its shelf life.”
Mr. Hochberg said he was duly impressed by Dr. Folk and that he will be a good fit in his new role. “We wish Chris well and we are sure he will make a significant contribution to the Ra Medical leadership team,” said Mr. Hochberg.
Dr. Folk served for the past four years at ViaCyte, a privately held regenerative medicine company, most recently as engineering and device manufacturing director. Prior to ViaCyte, Dr. Folk spent three years as device strategy principal engineer at Amgen. Before that, he served for three years as research and development manager for Covidien Neurovascular (formerly ev3).
“I have a particular passion for innovative medical devices, whether being developed from scratch or improving an existing design, and I see the clear advantages of photoablation over competing technologies for the treatment of peripheral artery disease,” said Dr. Folk. “This is an exciting opportunity for my colleagues and me to identify design and manufacturing solutions that enhance the existing products while concurrently developing new and next generation product offerings. I’m delighted to join the Ra Medical team at this critical juncture as we work toward a successful future with a differentiated product line.”
Earlier in his career, Dr. Folk was senior design and applications engineer-medical devices for Microfabrica Corp., a designer and manufacturer of micromachine devices, where he was the technical manager for NIH-funded minimally invasive heart surgery research and co-invented the device published as the first all-micro electro-mechanical system medical devices surgical tool. He began his career in the technical leadership program at General Electric, a world leader in the design and manufacture of commercial and military jet engines, leading a team developing the high-pressure engine core for an advanced military prototype. Dr. Folk holds 10 issued patents with more than a dozen pending.
Life Sciences Recruiters
Ra Medical Systems, founded in 2002, is a public company that leverages its advanced excimer laser-based platform for use in the treatment of vascular and dermatological diseases. The company’s products are designed to enhance patients’ quality of life by restoring blood-flow in arteries and clearing chronic skin conditions. Ra Medical Systems currently manufactures and markets two lines of products: DABRA Catheter and Laser and Pharos Excimer Laser. DABRA is cleared by the U.S. FDA as a tool for the minimally invasive endovascular treatment of vascular blockages resulting from lower extremity vascular disease, including peripheral artery disease and critical limb ischemia. Pharos Excimer Laser is FDA cleared as a tool used in the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and leukoderma.
Caliber Associates, founded in 1988, is focused exclusively on the life sciences sector. The firm’s leaders are highly experienced search professionals and biopharmaceutical executives who bring more than 70 years of industry experience. Caliber Associates has partnered with over 150 leading companies and has completed upwards of 700 searches, placing strategic leaders with broad therapeutic and functional reach. The firm has offices in San Diego, metro New York, and Boston/Cambridge, MA.
Mr. Hochberg focuses on recruiting CEOs, board members, C-level and strategic teams for emerging life science companies and global biopharmaceutical companies. He has assembled a small team of highly experienced, results driven search professionals. Prior to his search career, he held strategic human resources roles with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, FMC Corp. and Shell Oil Co.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media