Procyrion Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board


Procyrion, Inc., a privately-held medical device firm developing the first catheter-deployed circulatory assist device intended for long-term use in the treatment of chronic heart failure, today announced the appointments of leading cardiologists and cardiovascular researchers Emma Birks, MBBS, PhD; Hani Sabbah, PhD; Keith Aaronson, MD and Joseph Rogers, MD to its newly formed scientific advisory board.

“These like-minded visionaries have been invited to join the board for their knowledge and expertise but also because they share our desire to improve the prognosis for the more than 1.6 million heart failure patients where drug therapy alone is no longer enough,” said Benjamin A. Hertzog, PhD, president and CEO of Procyrion.

Dr. Birks began her work in ventricular assist devices in 1996 when she accepted a research position with the VAD program at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital in London. In her current role as professor of medicine and director of the Heart Failure, Transplant and Mechanical Support Program at the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital, Dr. Birks continues to focus her research on transplantation, ventricular assist devices, mechanical circulatory support, heart failure, myocardial deterioration and the molecular and cellular mechanisms of myocardial recovery.  She continues to pioneer a new treatment protocol to remove LVADs and maintain ongoing medical therapy for patients thus allowing them to resume daily activities.

A tenured professor of medicine at Detroit’s Wayne State University and the director of Cardiovascular Research at the Henry Ford Health System, Dr. Sabbah is internationally recognized for his basic and translational research in heart failure.  One of the pioneers of the microembolization model of chronic heart failure, he has extensive experience working with large animal models of heart failure, delineating mechanisms of myocardial disease and the recovery and pre-clinical testing of new drugs and devices for the treatment of this disease syndrome.

Dr. Aaronson is a distinguished professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and the medical director of the Heart Failure Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His research interests include pre-transplant risk stratification, transplant immunosuppression, drug and device therapy for heart failure, and applications of decision and cost-effectiveness analyses to problems in cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Rogers, the medical director of the Duke Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program in Durham, North Carolina, has extensive research interests focused on the clinical aspects of advanced heart failure including acute and chronic heart failure, cardiac transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support.

“The caliber of our scientific advisory board is a testament to the potential of our technology.  We are proud to have these individuals as part of the Procyrion team, and their contribution has already been felt,” said Reynolds M. Delgado III, MD, Procyrion founder and medical director of Mechanical Assist Devices in Heart Failure at the Texas Heart Institute.

The scientific advisory board will augment Procyrion’s internal team of experts and provide outside evaluation on issues that arise in the continuing research and development of Procyrion’s circulatory assist device.

About Procyrion
Houston-based medical device firm Procyrion, Inc. is developing the first catheter-deployed, intra-aortic pump for ambulatory use.  The device is designed to rest and heal the heart by reducing afterload while simultaneously improving blood flow to vital organs. This groundbreaking cardiology tool, conceived by cardiologist Dr. Reynolds M. Delgado, III, medical director of Mechanical Support Devices in Heart Failure at the Texas Heart Institute, is expected to provide a minimally invasive treatment option for millions of chronic heart failure patients.  For more information, visit or call 713.579.9227.

Anna Drake
Penman PR

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