Procyrion Hires Seasoned Product Development Directors


HOUSTON, TX (February 10th, 2016) - Micro heart pump maker Procyrion has added key team members as it prepares for first-in-human studies. 

The Houston-based developer of a circulatory assist device intended to treat chronic heart failure announced today that Chris Durst, PhD, is senior director of product development and Ronnie Earles is associate director of product development.

In his new role as senior director of product development, Dr. Durst, a bioengineer with a strong technical background in cardiovascular medical devices, takes the helm of Procyrion’s innovative product development program.  He will be responsible for the design, development, integration, and manufacturing of the various components of the Aortix™ system.  Most recently, Dr. Durst served as a principal at Fannin Innovation Studio where he led the research, development, and operational activities for several of the firm’s med-tech portfolio companies, including Apaxis Medical, developer of proprietary technologies for faster and more consistent implantation of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs).  Prior to Fannin, Dr. Durst worked in world-class labs in both the U.S. and the Netherlands, where he primarily focused on technologies for the treatment of heart valve disease.

Earles, an accomplished medical device designer, joins Procyrion with 24 years of experience in commercializing new and novel products. He has experience with implant delivery systems, conceiving and designing new devices, developing production equipment, and contributing to FDA regulatory submissions.  In his role as associate director of product development, Earles will lead Procyrion’s design and manufacturing of the micropump’s catheter-based tools as well as verification and validation testing of the Aortix™ system.  He will also assist in the development of next-generation technologies to support Procyrion’s product pipeline.  Previously, Earles served as a staff product development engineer for IDEV Technologies, Inc., now part of Abbott Vascular.

“As we prepare for our first-in-human trials later this year, the continued focus on the development of the Aortix system is imperative,” said Procyrion CEO Benjamin A. Hertzog, PhD.  “We have to carefully balance the engineering needs of the Aortix first-in-human system with the need to continuously innovate and push the envelope.  These gentlemen will play key roles in both activities, and will help ensure that we are developing the very best products to benefit the millions of heart failure patients in need.”

Procyrion’s Aortix is not approved for use or sale. 

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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.

Dana Summers

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