Medsider Radio: Learn from Medtech and Healthcare Experts

Resiliency and Relentlessness are Crucial for Raising Medtech Capital: Interview with Beverly Huss, President and CEO of Qool Therapeutics

April 24, 2020 Scott Nelson
Medsider Radio: Learn from Medtech and Healthcare Experts
Resiliency and Relentlessness are Crucial for Raising Medtech Capital: Interview with Beverly Huss, President and CEO of Qool Therapeutics
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Medsider Radio: Learn from Medtech and Healthcare Experts
Resiliency and Relentlessness are Crucial for Raising Medtech Capital: Interview with Beverly Huss, President and CEO of Qool Therapeutics
Apr 24, 2020
Scott Nelson

Joining Medsider Radio for this episode is Beverly Huss, President and CEO of Qool Therapeutics, a development-stage company working on a novel, non-invasive therapeutic hypothermia device for the preservation of tissue following catastrophic events like a heart attack, stroke, or traumatic brain injury.

Previously, Beverly was the CEO of Vibrynt, a start-up medical device company dedicated to creating minimally invasive therapies for patients suffering from morbid obesity. Prior to that, Beverly was the President of Guidant Endovascular Solutions (acquired by Abbott), a medical device company focused on the treatment of cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease.

She holds an M.S. in technology management from Pepperdine University, as well as a B.S. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Illinois. Beverly also has a few patents to her credit in the cardiovascular and obesity medical device arenas.

With me on this episode is guest host, Norbert Juist, one of the most honest, genuine, and personable people I know. Norbert runs Sales Performance Resources, where he specializes in recruiting for medtech marketing and sales positions. Prior to this, he was a sales rep at Cordis Endovascular, a spine consultant at Synthes, and a sales rep at Ethicon. 

Interview Highlights with Beverly Huss

  • The origin story of Qool Therapeutics and how Beverly got involved with the company.
  • The clinical trial strategy that Qool Therapeutics is following and the reasoning for it.
  • Beverly’s strategic approach to making a medical device a reality, including the regulatory, clinical, and reimbursement paths that should be considered.
  • Key learnings from Beverly’s time at Vibrynt. 
  • The “other R&R”: the importance of resilience and relentlessness when you are raising money for a company.
  • How to get the attention of medical device venture capitalists.
  • Critical lessons Beverly throughout her career at ACS and Guidant.
  • Beverly’s favorite books and how they inspire resiliency.
  • The business leaders and mentors that Beverly most admires.
  • Advice Beverly would give to her 30-year old self.

See more...

Show Notes Transcript

Joining Medsider Radio for this episode is Beverly Huss, President and CEO of Qool Therapeutics, a development-stage company working on a novel, non-invasive therapeutic hypothermia device for the preservation of tissue following catastrophic events like a heart attack, stroke, or traumatic brain injury.

Previously, Beverly was the CEO of Vibrynt, a start-up medical device company dedicated to creating minimally invasive therapies for patients suffering from morbid obesity. Prior to that, Beverly was the President of Guidant Endovascular Solutions (acquired by Abbott), a medical device company focused on the treatment of cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease.

She holds an M.S. in technology management from Pepperdine University, as well as a B.S. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Illinois. Beverly also has a few patents to her credit in the cardiovascular and obesity medical device arenas.

With me on this episode is guest host, Norbert Juist, one of the most honest, genuine, and personable people I know. Norbert runs Sales Performance Resources, where he specializes in recruiting for medtech marketing and sales positions. Prior to this, he was a sales rep at Cordis Endovascular, a spine consultant at Synthes, and a sales rep at Ethicon. 

Interview Highlights with Beverly Huss

  • The origin story of Qool Therapeutics and how Beverly got involved with the company.
  • The clinical trial strategy that Qool Therapeutics is following and the reasoning for it.
  • Beverly’s strategic approach to making a medical device a reality, including the regulatory, clinical, and reimbursement paths that should be considered.
  • Key learnings from Beverly’s time at Vibrynt. 
  • The “other R&R”: the importance of resilience and relentlessness when you are raising money for a company.
  • How to get the attention of medical device venture capitalists.
  • Critical lessons Beverly throughout her career at ACS and Guidant.
  • Beverly’s favorite books and how they inspire resiliency.
  • The business leaders and mentors that Beverly most admires.
  • Advice Beverly would give to her 30-year old self.

See more...

Scott Nelson:   0:00
If you talk

Beverly Huss:   0:01
to a

Scott Nelson:   0:01
neurologist, they will tell you that athletes are overheated, and the one thing neurologists agree on is that he is not good for the brain or for concussion. So we wanted to be standard of care that it's in every school, on every soccer field for a re cheerleading squad, every gymnast that it's right there and you started immediately in the field. Welcome to med cider Radio, where you can learn from proven med tech and healthcare thought leaders through uncut and unedited interviews. Now here is your host, Scott Nelson. On today's program, we've Got Beverly Hus, who joined Cool Therapeutics, is president and CEO in September of 2013. Previously, Beverly was president and CEO of Vibrant Company that developed a novel, minimally invasive therapeutic device for the treatment of morbid obesity. Prior that, Beverly was with guidance since 1986 actually fulfilling variety of executive roles within the company's various medical device divisions. She managed the worldwide endovascular Solutions business as president and caught tripled worldwide revenues $250 million for the crowded and peripheral vascular business in just under four years. Prior to that, Beverly held several executive level positions across a variety of strategic business units within guidance jewels, a master's degree in technology management from Pepperdine University and A B S in engineering from the University of Illinois. Everly also has several patents to her credit in the cardiovascular in obesity medical device arenas and serves on the Board of Certified Medical and still medical in this wide ranging interview with Beverly. Here are some of the things we cover the origin story of Cool Therapeutics, including the early product concept and how barely got involved with the company. Beverly Strategic approach towards making the product a reality, including the regulatory, clinical and reimbursement pads that were considered Beverly's key learnings from her time. That vibrant and guidance and Beverley Stable business book that leader she most admires and advice should give to her 30 year old self. There's a lot more recovering this wide ranging discussion, but I wanted to call out a few things before we get started First. Joining me on this episode as a special guest host is Norbert Juice to nobody, and I go way back in fact, used to sell vascular devices into the same cath labs now He runs sales performance resources and specializes in recruiting for medical device sales and marketing positions. And he's quite good at it. No, but not only brings a ton of industry experience to the table, but he's one of the most honest, genuine and personable people I know. So if you're looking for a new gig or need help recruiting for smoking positions, Norbert is definitely your guy. In the show notes for this episode, you'll find a link to learn more about Norbert and his background. And no, he did not pay me to run this message. Alright. Second, if you're new to these and met set or interviews, and I want to be updated when the next interview goes live, head on over to med cider dot com and enter your email address. That's E. D s I. D E r. Met cider dot com. Rest assured, we will not spam you. In fact, the only time will paying you via email is when a new conversation goes live again. It's super simple. Just visit med cider dot com, and right there on the home page, you'll see the opportunity to enter your email address all right, and lastly, as a reminder. If you continue to enjoy these conversations, please give us a rating on your podcast app. Just open the reviews tab and click on the old five stars. Thanks again. It really helps us a ton already. Without further ado. Let's get to the interview. Beverly. Welcome Teoh. Met cider radio. Appreciate you coming on.

Beverly Huss:   3:10
It's wonderful to be here. Thanks for having me.

Scott Nelson:   3:12
Alright, in Norbert, you're with us here this afternoon. Absolutely looking forward to talking to Beverly. I say, as always, but have enjoyed have enjoyed you joining the show. And, uh and these these conversations are becoming a lot more informal on conversation, which I think I think leads to some better. Some better entertainment. There's little bit better entertainment value. Um, with these interviews. So without further ado, Beverly, you have a incredible background in med tech and you're doing what appears to be some pretty interesting things with cool therapeutics. So really looking forward to this conversation and seeing where, ah, where it may take us. But before we talk a little bit more about your background, which I think we'll get to in the kind of the latter half of this discussion. Let's first start with Cool Therapeutics because I think that that might help set set the stage for people to get a better feel for like where you're at in your career and what you're really trying to do with running running the company around. So maybe if you could speak to your technology right now, maybe, ah, even using a patient hypothetical patient as an example.

Beverly Huss:   4:09
Okay, thank you. It's great to be here and thank you for the very kind words. So I would start by saying that we have been cooling with a C, not a Q, like our name patients since before the time of Hippocrates. So cooling the body down a few degrees 2 to 5 C to preserve the heart in the brain. In a trauma situation before a vascular surgery, when a vessel gets clamped or post cardiac arrest to minimize damage to the heart in the brain. And so if you've ever put ice on an injury, you understand the power of cooling to reduce inflammation and the oxygen requirements of the cells. So what happened today is that a patient gets cooled with a cooling pad, which is placed on the outer portion of their body upper torso and legs, and cold saline gets circulated through that You cool from the outside in. And if you grew up in Chicago like I did, you know that that shunts all the blood from your extremities to your core and the core the heart, the brain is what you want. A cool, so that's very slow. It has the benefit of being non invasive if you want to cool a little bit faster than you have to take the patient to the cath lab under fluoroscope, be or X ray, put a large 12 14 French central venous catheter in and circulate cold sailing through that, and you get faster cooling cause now you're cooling the core. But the problem is, you've taken the patient out of the flow of care, and you have to delay the primary procedure and potentially have bleeding complications because you have tow Aniko regulate the patient. So what we do is we deliver frozen sailing particles. We call it no internally to the large surface area of the lung. The lungs have the surface area, about half the size of a tennis court 70 square meters. Any physician you talk to about that will finish the sentence and say 70 square meters. So must be one of the first things they learned an anatomy class. So we cooled along a large surface area of the lung. The blood that goes there to get oxygenated gets cooled, and then that cool blood travels to the heart in the brain and cools the heart and the brain very quickly. So you might imagine a patient that has a heart attack it is coming in, or a patient that is in the operating room, about to undergo a neurovascular vascular surgery or a patient post arrest those patients, many of them in the last two cases. All of them would be intubated. We have a special intubation tube that delivers frozen sailing and ventilation, and then we have machine with hardware and software that delivers that frozen sailing to the lungs cools incredibly quickly. 2 to 6 times faster than the competition easily fits into the flow of care because in debating a patient is something you would normally do. It's just you have to do it with our tube and cool with our machines and So we're really excited to have finished our first and human design. We're about to ah, enter Ah, first in human study in Eastern Europe or Australia. Whatever site gets approval first, and we have cooled almost 100 large swine 80 to 100 kilo swine so human size we've done our electrical testing or verification validation testing. So we're really excited now to put this inhuman. And it's all about extending the golden hour, preserving tissue and doing that in a way that's rapid because as one of our clinical investigators, Graham Nicol, says, If you don't cool quickly, cooling doesn't matter. So that's what we want to do. Cool the the patient quickly preserved heart and brain and not get in the way of the flow of care, enabled the flow of care toe happen easily and quickly.

Scott Nelson:   8:00
Thanks Beverly, for that. For that background, this is super interesting. So if I mean without going too far into the weeds, if I understand this correctly that this is the first of the kind type of therapy, no one else is doing this, So I would presume, at least here in the US this is a P. M. a type of product week.

Beverly Huss:   8:15
We think it's an i d 5 10 k a day Novo 5 10 k. Um, And so, based on some early interactions, that's what we think. Obviously, that will be born out as we get further in the process with FDA. But that's kind of how we position ourselves. You know, we delivered through the lungs sailings already used in the lungs. And, you know, we've proven major things like we can cool quickly. We don't affect oxygen or gas exchange in the lungs, and we don't cause trauma to the tissues of the lung. So we've done a lot of work to de risk those major points. You know, the only time I've heard of this type of technology, and it's relatively new, even in like spinal cord injuries. You see them doing that? I mean, you can answer that question, I suppose. How long have they been doing that? But it's not very long, right that they have the have for the spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries is an emergent area for this, so that's something we'll be looking at in the future. This is most used host cardiac arrest, so someone's heart stopped and they shock their heart and bring them back. They will cool the patient 12 to 36 hours to minimize any tissue damage to the heart and the brain. And in fact, there's three studies that support that Bernard is the name of one. Haka is the second, and the third is a French study called Hyperion that has shown a benefit post cardiac arrest in the really hard part about this is that because the technologies we have today on the market are not optimal, really? The biggest proof of cooling has come in bypass surgery and post cardiac arrest treatment. And so we think that we will expand cooling to more areas because we call quickly, rapidly, easily bidding into the flow of patient care. And you get really good control in terms of holding temperature, with our method as well.

Scott Nelson:   10:14
Certainly interesting technology. Beverly and with your background in the vascular space, can you tell us a little bit more about where you know where this product concept came from and how you got involved with the company? You know, back in what appears to be, you know, 2013 timeframe

Beverly Huss:   10:29
This concept came from Dr Amir Belson. Amir is Amir was an Israeli flight surgeon. He's a pediatric nephrologist and looking at the technologies that were out there, especially when someone has, ah, major heart attack, a segment elevation, myocardial infarction and opening the vessel is the most important thing, he said. You know, no one's gonna wait to cool the patient and then open the vessel. They're going to open the vessel first. We need something faster, quicker, easily fits into the flow of patient care. So I think in 2000 and 4 2005 he had this concept for the technology. He raised a few $100,000 started to build a patent portfolio. Amir likes to build a patent portfolio first and then start a company and find somebody like me to run it, because he's more of a technology clinical person and a very prolific inventor. So I actually met Amir and his wife tomorrow with my husband, Charlie, um, at Ah Wilson Sonsini Phoenix CEO event. And Amir started talking to me about the technology in early 2013 and I told him, Okay, I'll look at this. Look at the patent. The market. And if I think it's, I'll do the work of a venture capitalist would do to understand this. And if I like it, I'll come and be your CEO. And if I pass, I'll give you whatever work I've done because we're friends. And so obviously I'm here and you see em. We're doing our best to get this into the clinic. And then eventually FDA and CE Mark approved into market

Scott Nelson:   12:06
it got it. And you make that probably sound ah, lot more easy than then it then it probably probably was to make to make to make that decision and that that transition. But was there something particular that attracted to you about the technology? Was it was it the was the technology in and of itself? Was that the I P. Was there a few things that that stood out that really drew you to cool therapeutics?

Beverly Huss:   12:28
That's a great question. And you're right. So what? What? I'm you know, I'm sort of, ah, technology geek, And I thought this was such a sophisticated, elegant and yet sophisticated way to do this town simple in concept, that sophisticated execution. And I felt like if we could do this, we could apply it in many areas of medicine. And in addition to that, so post cardiac arrest, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, sepsis, burns, trauma, Um, and so I felt like if we could do this and also exercise recovery. So if you lower an athlete temperature back to normal, there's an exercise performance enhancement. And that could potentially be in early treatment for concussion if we can cool the brain quickly on a football field, a soccer field, a baseball diamond. I heard the other day that the cheerleaders have the second highest level of concussions from getting, you know, thrown and flipped and falling on their necks and head. So I felt like If we can do this, we can really expand it across a range of areas and make a big impact in reducing trauma and reducing neurologic damage damage to the heart. So that's what I thought was really unique about it and why I wanted to be a part of doing that. That's really cool. I can speak to the cheerleading part of my daughter, Isa Junior in high school, and she's had three concussions, the 1st 1 she got from longer bald drilling her in the head. Second, when she got she was a girl was doing a round off back Handspring and elbow toe weight to the nose. And then the 3rd 1 she got doing the pole vault. She went over, knocked off the bar, fell on them at the barking, down a hitter white on the bridge of her nose. So, uh, sooner the Syrian get that technology for my child would be great. Thank you for saying that. Yeah, and the thing of it is that if you talk to a neurologist, they will tell you that athletes are overheated, and the one thing neurologists agree on is that he is not good for the brain or for concussion. So we wanted to be standard of care that it's in every school, on every soccer field for a re cheerleading squad, every gymnast that it's right there and you started immediately in the field. And so that's the vision of where we want to be, will start in the hospital and move out from that area. And it's all about, you know, in animal models. Cooling quickly when there's an injury makes a difference, and so we need to make the equipment set the human model to be able to cool anywhere and very quickly. And so for your kids and everybody's kids, we need that. It seems like the market is huge, But how do you actually tournament? For example? A lot of times when Scott and I do these, we talked to somebody who's treating ah, particular thing. And they know that there are 88,000 of these particular you know, whatever harder factor events, shall we say, How do you put a market on something like this other than huge, you kind of have to break it down by indication where we'll start first, what will be the most straightforward indication to get and then expanding it from there? So we would like to start because it's a controlled setting in the operating room and then expand from there. So the way we look at it is we go and we look at how Maney cardiac arrests are there year throughout the world. How many strokes, how maney brain injuries, you know, and what's the breakdown of where those occur and how they get treated, and then what is the first path forward for us? to get an FDA indication. And that part is we're still in discussions with the FDA about so that part I can't talk a lot about. So you figure out what straightforward path to get an indication. How can we get this product on the market? And then how do we expand from there and go and get other indications? So our first focus is in the hospital when we go and look at market research. Independent market research for cooling device is the biggest market is in the hospital surgery centers and then finally, ambulatory centers. So will concentrate on that first and build the beachhead there and then expand our indications from the hospital and those other markets. And then, secondly, leverage our technology to exercise recovery toe a more mobile unit that can be field deployable. And as we did research with the military, that's what the military is interested in having a field deployable unit for trauma and other injuries that can occur in the battlefield. So we we want to have this core business in the hospital and expand from there, and we look at that market data. We go to the clinical literature and say how many cases air like this around the world? What do we think we can penetrate? Sort of at a macro in a micro level. Then we build a business plan from the bottom up, saying we're going to start in the hospital. You know where where would we go? How long will it take us to establish a beachhead with this technology?

Scott Nelson:   17:51
You know, one of my follow up questions was gonna be around. Um, you focus, right? Because you could you could expand into so many different areas with this type of technology. Beverly, how do you focus? But you, in essence, sort of answered, Answer that question. But back in my head, I'm thinking, man, it would be hard to turn down some of the opportunities or market opportunities. I should say that that would come about right with this type of type of technology. So on that end, is it just ah, an intense focus on sort of the challenge at hand, being being the one you just mentioned versus you know, in essence, saying no to the other areas that you know seem like seem like nice opportunities. That would be resource constraining.

Beverly Huss:   18:28
Well, I think what we've tried to do is, um you know, the thing about being in a startup is you only get so much time and so much so many people in so much money to prove something. So that causes you to get laser beam focused on what's important in the near term in the long term. And we feel like if we prove the technology in one area that it's safe, effective, better than the competition, then we can launch it in that area, generate revenue to get some of these other indications. And essentially, that's what our competitors have done there on the market. And the funny thing about this is that no one out there has any clinical outcome claim for cooling Nobody. Nobody has a claim, for example, that says we preserve the heart or we preserve the brain or we save these tissues. Nobody has it. They just have cooling for temperature management. And so I'm not letting the patient's temperature get to higher too low. There's also a warming market, so what we want to do is establish that first beachhead that's always been our strategy and then go after very specific indications and prioritizes, and it's also really hard to get some of those. The patient populations are hard. For example, brain injury, concussion. That's a very hetero genius patient population. So if you're going to get a claim there, you want to really understand what patients are gonna most benefit from your therapy before you embark on a big clinical study.

Scott Nelson:   20:00
How do you

Beverly Huss:   20:01
measure when you had mentioned the brain damage that you're preventing or that the tissue damage that you're preventing? How would you quantify that? How would you measure it? Well, they're there for brain damage. There are CPC rank and scores their standardized tests for measuring patient brain function for cardiac arrest. Um, you use those same neurologic outcomes, and then it's essentially, you know, there's such a high mortality rate, post cardiac arrest that you look at mortality and neurologic function, and then for stroke or traumatic brain injury again, you would get classified by those those various test. So we initially want to say, you know, we can cool, equal to or better we think better than the competition and not create untoward effect. Get our first indication and then, you know, expand to do more studies after that.

Scott Nelson:   20:58
On that note, Beverly, you mentioned, You know, earlier in the conversation that you have your first in human clinical trials, I believe. Oh, us. I can't remember the country's you you mentioned. But what's your take on? I guess Where you doing these clinical studies? Because you mentioned the dinovo pathway might be the most feasible option right now when it comes to the FDA and that under the, you know, the regulatory guys of the FDA. But why not start your clinical trials in the in the US versus outside the united United States?

Beverly Huss:   21:27
Well, you know, we had actually looked at, uh, starting an early feasibility study in the U S. And, um, working through some of the meeting times with FDA. It just be came clear to us that it was faster to go outside the U. S. Now, that's not to say we haven't done all the same testing we have for the US. Indeed, we have bench animal bio compatibility, sterilization, validation, all those things, verification and validation, all of those things. It's just that you can start the application process outside the U. S. While you're waiting for your final data and then you don't start your trial until you have supplied that data. And so that's why we elected to go outside the U. S. And we know that what often happens and what is planned for us is that we'll go and do our first inhuman with what we believe is a safe product. And then there will be things that need to be changed and modified after we get that data to make the product better on, then that will be the product that we pursue under the regulations in a clinical study here in the US

Scott Nelson:   22:36
On that note, you know, we recently had a conversation with with Dan Rose. I'm not sure if you're familiar with him, but he's the He's currently the CEO of Lymph Flow but was with Direct Flow Medical. Prior to that, he mentioned that this concept of that the Valley of the Valley of Death, which is, you know, a regulatory approval from from FDA clearance or approval, depending I guess, the device class. But then this this period of time, when you can't effectively commercialize because insurance there's no insurance coverage or reimbursement. So how are you thinking about about that that ladder topic in coverage, insurance coverage and reimbursement Because it seems like that without a cpt code and without insurance coverage, whether it's, you know, Medicare, private pay, that's that's even becoming, ah, bigger obstacle with a lot of early early stage tech med tech devices.

Beverly Huss:   23:25
Well, the beauty of this technology is that there are I, e d 10 and cpt codes for therapeutic hypothermia that we believe get reimbursed under the DRG based on our research. So there are already codes there for payment. So this for us, is we see it is an execution play where we have to generate the clinical evidence. We have to prove our claims and get this to market. But there are codes there today which support the use of these devices so that that's one of the nice parts there's. We believe there's a regulatory pathway we have to firm that up with FDA not guaranteed yet. It never is until you have approval honestly. And then there's a regulatory pathway, so it's really about execution on our part.

Scott Nelson:   24:13
Got it? That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for clarifying that. Do you have any other follow up questions with respect to cool therapeutics. Are you okay with kind of talking a little bit more about ah Beverly's prior experience in her kind of broader MedTech career?

Beverly Huss:   24:26
I want to hear the previous company, you know, with the technology for obesity and stuff, it seems fascinated. Let me hear about that as well.

Scott Nelson:   24:35
Yeah, and Beverly before maybe we talk a little bit about your experience with Vibrant. I know I provided an intro in the beginning of this interview, but you've got a fascinating career leading back to you know, your time at a CS than a guidance and really the coal expansion of the endovascular market, which I think will be kind of fun to learn about, but coming back to vibrant, you know, for the sake of time. I don't think we want to go too deep here. But I would imagine, you know, being there for what was it 76 or seven years? You experienced a lot, not only in terms of, you know, raising capital, but also, you know, other challenges that that you, you know, either experienced or overcame during your time there. So are there may be two or three things that really stand out that have maybe helped you in your time, even at it. Cool Therapeutics. Now,

Beverly Huss:   25:21
Yes, The first thing I would say is, um, I have been very lucky to work with incredible teams of people and vibrant was one of those teams. Cool isas Well, vibrant was as well and having any A and Delphi without any a Delphi and TPG is investors. So we had really gold plated investors and really having any A as an investor make fundraising much, much easier. And they are a wonderful partner to have, so I can't say enough good things about them. In fact, I have, ah, former any a partner and now venture partner Jake. None on my board. So just they're means of supporting a company, understanding what entrepreneurs go through there. Just, um, you know, have remained in MedTech a great MedTech advisors and investors. So I would say, you know, it's about the team, the people, the investors sometimes, and this is the hard part. A great product doesn't make it to market. Vibrant was appear. Gastric implant that sit on top of the stomach could be placed in a 20 or 30 minute laproscopic procedure and we had gotten approval in Europe. The Mark TJ approval in Australia, we had treated about 100 patients, gotten good weight loss equal to the gastric band with less side effects. It was fit to the patients left upper quadrant. But the issues were that we were going through, I think, a challenging FDA time in which the agency asked us for a 2 to 3 year study on about 550 patients at a cost of about $35 million. And the U. S. Unfortunately, is the largest obesity market in the world, where the most obese population and that was at a very challenging financing time. When other companies in the obesity space weren't doing well other permanent implants and they had failed people didn't get good exits. And so, um, we elected to sell the I P and move on, which is a shame because the product worked. So to be a viable business, we really needed to have the FDA approval. So I think that's a lesson in, you know, to fully understand the regulatory path in the clinical trial it's going to take to get something approved and to, you know, make sure we de risk the project as much as we can. And, you know, for me, that feels like the one that got away because it was a really good product. And I don't think what Come on, the market is as good and the stomach altering surgeries aren't a great experience or quality of life for the patient. I think part of the reason Scott had me join him because I'm not a Z educated in a lot of these things as he isn't so I bring it down to the level of the the average rep maybe driving their car, listening to this. But my question would be then, with a technology like that, that was so great that you had to walk away from Is there any, you know, terrible part of it, or is it something that you literally just turn and walk away from? Well, we sold some of the I P, and I can't say a lot about that. I will tell you that I have a few devices in my home. We had great investors that allowed us to take care of the patients in our study with our follow up. It was a procedure that was reversible. They could keep it or have it removed. And our investors were fantastic and supported that. And, you know, we took care of our employees. We did a wind down that was very respectable toe everybody, which is, you know, really great to have investors like that that support that. But it's pretty. With all the teams put into creating businesses and technologies, it's bittersweet. I mean, you know that you don't have a choice, but and you understand, if a technology doesn't work clinically, it should go away. There's no question about it, and you need to figure that out as fast as possible with the least amount of time and money in. But this was something that worked, and it was just the wrong time, the wrong FDA time in the wrong time for investors. We even tried to take the company public in Australia to raise enough capital to get through to profitability. And that was when, um, I think the week we were out is when JP Morgan pulled back all their I pose worldwide. So it was just a couple things really affected us And so I think that's what you learn. You have to learn what's in your control and what isn't. And more things there in your control, the better it is. I mean, we couldn't control world markets and, you know, sort of the the meltdown that was happening with economic markets around the world.

Scott Nelson:   30:17
Some of that, like relatively straightforward advice, really resonates with me because it's so. It's so easy to say. It may be easy, too easy to kind of reflect now, but in the in the heat of it, when you've got an amazing what sounds like an amazing technology and there's all of these uncontrollables that are happening around you that, you know ultimately lead T kind of sort of winding down the company has to be incredibly disappointing and probably only something that you can learn through the fire, so to speak.

Beverly Huss:   30:41
Yeah, I agree, and it it teaches you to be, I would say that are not, uh, relax ation. You know, it's not the Iran are.

Scott Nelson:   30:51
It's,

Beverly Huss:   30:52
ah, resilience and relented relentlessness, and you learn that you have to be very resilient in the start up, and you have to be relentlessly focused on what you're trying to do and relentlessly focused on fund raising. Ah, friend of mine said, Do you ever stop fundraising? I said, yeah, about you stop for about two days after you close around and celebrate one of those days, and then you start again because it takes so long. First

Scott Nelson:   31:18
stage company to raise

Beverly Huss:   31:20
money. I like to watch sports with my husband. And, um, one of the things that you know when you look at the team, for example, that lost the World Series, how they sit there, they sit there to remember that feeling. So it never happens again. And that's kind of what you think about when you see one of these really great companies go away. Okay, What happened there? So we can avoid it and it can never happen again. Or we can minimize it Ever happening again?

Scott Nelson:   31:46
Yeah, there's no doubt I love that analogy. And I also love the opposite end of the spectrum from or in our as most people know it rest and relaxation to think the other are in our that you called out in terms of grinding away and an early Met tech start up on that note. Um, one of the follow up question I had is when I when I hear you kind of explain that story and getting, you know, EA and Delphi. And as you put it, I think, you know, platinum plated or gold plated. You know, investors. The who's who you know in Mitt in the in the world of MedTech v C. How do you get their attention? What was that like? Because I think there's probably a lot of med tech entrepreneurs that are listening to this conversation wondering, Man, I'm sitting on what appears to be some really cool technology, strong I, p Good tams and large Tams and Sam's. But I cannot get the attention of those those premier veces. Is there any advice or what would you say to those those people that are in in that spot right now?

Beverly Huss:   32:43
Well, I think that you have to understand each firm and what their focus is. Most us venture MedTech venture capitalists will not come into an early stage company until there's first in human data. The benefit I had was I was part of I got in with Josh Mack, our through Explorer Med and Explorer Med was supported by any A And so that's how the relationship with any a started. So that was, Ah, huge benefit to us. But I think with all of these venture folks, you have to understand what their focus is, what they want to see and then constantly keep them updated. I mean, there are people who I've met with for cool that say, you guys have made a lot of progress, but we're not gonna Indust until we see first in human data. And so my common is okay. I'm getting up to speed on the progress we've made. And as soon as I have that data, we're gonna come back to you. So I think you really have to understand that, um, some firms aren't going to be for some companies, and so kind of narrowing that down, you know, looking at it, you have to, you know, part of it is a numbers game. You have to call on a lot of people and map out who you want to call on. 1st 2nd 3rd be like water, always looking for the path in. Be creative. But I would say it starts with understanding who is investing at what stage and what is their focus? What are they looking at? Are they? You know, some firms will tell you we only want to look at Neuromodulation company. Some firms will tell you we only want to be in the vascular space. And if you're not in a vascular space, we're probably not interested or we're not going to invest until you're ready to commercialize. And so you just have to keep track of that and update those people and bring them along on your progress. Same thing with the strategic. Bring them along on your progress so that they can see how much progress you've made When it's time for an investment or an acquisition, they're up to speed and you built the relationship and hopefully can get a deal done.

Scott Nelson:   34:50
It's such good advice. And it, you know, I I both number and I have, ah, have ah, med tech sales background and hearing you explain that is really no different than any sort of kind of sales process. Right building relationships and people breast knowing who you're talking Teoh knowing that you're talking to the right people and it's not out of contacts etcetera. It's very much akin. Duh. You know, building. Ah, long drawn out sale cycle,

Beverly Huss:   35:15
right? Assistance beats resistance and all that good

Scott Nelson:   35:18
stuff. Exactly. Yeah, that's

Beverly Huss:   35:20
a great phrase. I've worked with a great guy and, um, guiding Europe. Juan Vidal. And when I was first time VP coming up, he would always remind me people do things for other people. People do things because you've established trust, integrity, relationship, relationship, honesty. The people do things for other people, and you have to build that relationship, and it's the same here.

Scott Nelson:   35:45
It's those simple truths that sort of sort of Ah, you know, hold true for, you know, time and time again. But

Beverly Huss:   35:52
the thing's your mother taught you when

Scott Nelson:   35:53
you were five years old, right? I want

Beverly Huss:   35:56
we think back to that.

Scott Nelson:   35:58
Yep. Yep. We're gonna title this interview. How to raise money. Like like your grandma or something about that. IHS, take your grandma.

Beverly Huss:   36:08
My grandma was probably better at it than I am,

Scott Nelson:   36:11
but

Beverly Huss:   36:13
he was an immigrant. He was pretty tenacious to

Scott Nelson:   36:16
she she practiced the art. Are that Yeah, that you read it? Yes. Yeah, that's that's good stuff. Well, I want to be I want to be sensitive, Teoh Sensitive your time, Beverly. So before we get to kind of the last rapid fire questions here, let's talk a little bit more about your experience with a CS and then and then and then Guidant because I think you were there from what? The late late eighties to maybe the early two thousands. So quite some time. And, gosh, probably hard to define our narrow down the all of the, you know, the successes and challenges that you experience kind of growing up, so to speak. And, you know, as the endovascular space was, was really burgeoning. But when you think about your time kind of, you know, Ah, a CS What appears to kind of be kind of in marketing product manager roles to, you know, then ultimately leading, you know, Guidant. Ah, endovascular as the president, Are there a few things from your from your career that really stand out that you know, maybe if if you could advise others that are ambitious and kind of wanna do the next thing or take the next step in the career, what stands out when you, when you think about that time,

Beverly Huss:   37:19
well, first. Guidant was an incredible place where if you worked hard, you got ahead and it was a high integrity place and just the quality of people there were amazing. And probably if the company wouldn't have been sold, I would have been kicking me out on my 65th or 70th birthday toe to move on. So what I would say is the job you want. Sometimes there's a path to it that is circuitous, and you need to do another job, so be willing to do that. I never thought I would go to the field. I was always a geek and love technology and going to the field and running Canada and Latin America just totally opened my eyes about what it's like to run a sales organization. How to build relationships, especially in a foreign country. How Canada is not the U. S. It's very different, although it's our northern neighbor. And so the first would be to take a job you're uncomfortable in because you're probably gonna learn the most There. I would also say, you know, never believe all the good press you get or all the bad press you or your company gets because they're usually somewhere in between and make sure that you pay it forward and take care of the people who come after you. One of the great things about guiding was we got opportunities at a young age. I got to run the scent business unit when I was 35 years old and launched the multi link in the multi link duet stents. And that was an incredible experience for our our team and for the vascular immigrant intervention group. And, you know, I have to remember that as I build teams and we bring people into the company to give, to give people that have, ah, the desire and the work ethic and the knowledge an early chance and to enable them and pay it forward. And and I think guidance did a really good job of that when I look at so So there are a bunch of us from guidance that air mentors at Stanford Bio Design Erin Heart Waas Maria Sanes is and I am and I think part of that comes from sort of the culture of paying it forward and enabling people in developing kind of the next generation of people. We got great opportunities there to do a lot of incredible things, and we need to give other people those out of opportunities. I mean, we're gonna help the medical device space. And as Paul Yak would say, the equal system alive. We got to keep enabling and mentoring those people

Scott Nelson:   39:54
such good advice. And it's I'm always fascinated, you know, hearing not only the names, but even some of the the names of the people that you just mentioned, the other the other, you know, female leaders that you mentioned, but also just the products that you're able to launch. And, um, you know, such innovative, such destructive products and to see the the endovascular space in the vascular spaces, the whole as evolved so much over the past 20 to 30 years. It's amazing that that you are a big a big part of that guy. That was a big part of that. So pretty cool reminisce on some of the some of those memories.

Beverly Huss:   40:22
Only one thing I would add is, you know, I'm sitting here listening to her talk about the Guiding days, and I'm just thinking about you know how much things have changed and for you to be there as long as you were to see the incredible change, as you think. It's fascinating because I mean how long it took a product to get the market back then versus how long it takes a product to get to market today. And I mean, just, you know, to get into your mind and see the movie that you're playing would be pretty cool. Um, you know, we unfortunately don't have the time to dive into that deeper. But you had to see some pretty amazing change in that time. Oh, absolutely. I remember when we first started talking about coronary stents and vascular intervention, and Ron Dahlan's one of my mentors didn't really want to be in the stent business. And then we were and, you know, our team weaving our company became the market leader. I think it was 27 out of 28 straight quarters. I mean, that was incredible. And taking the team that took Guidant public, I think Ron Ginger J graph and keep Brower used to say it was spinning out of Lily was like giving birth to a teenager, was kind of gawky and pimply and didn't

Scott Nelson:   41:37
know what to do

Beverly Huss:   41:38
at first, and we had to figure it out and people didn't think we could make it. We were behind in some products. And to get those products out and lead in the defibrillator space in the tent space, it was, you know, kind of like a rocket ship to the moon and and nobody believed we could fail. Nobody believed that there was such an enthusiasm and a desire to succeed that it was. It was pretty amazing. I feel very, very blessed to have had that experience. I think there's a lot of your immigrant grandmothers them in bigger and intestinal fortitude within you, for sure. Oh, thank you, thank you. Well, I think it's most of us in this industry, especially given the challenges of the last few years. So

Scott Nelson:   42:26
that's great stuff. So it's a nice, nice segue way into kind of wrapping this wrapping this Ah, this conversation up with the three rapid fire questions. So let's start with the 1st 1 Beverly. What's your favorite business? Boucar doesn't necessarily have to be a business book for a book that stands out. Nonetheless,

Beverly Huss:   42:42
there's a couple book I like. I like the innovator's dilemma from clay Christians in all about how innovation unseats markets anything. Clay Christensen is pretty good from a business standpoint, from a sort of beating all the odds. I like red Notice by Bill Browder, um, of how he got the Magnitsky act passed And, um, you know, brought his team out of Russia and avoided Vladimir Putin. And unfortunately ah, his attorney. Magnitsky did not make it out. But he got an act, you know, passed through Congress to control movement of Russian capital around the world. And, of course, it's called Red Notice, because Russia filed a red notice with Interpol to arrest him anywhere he was. Of course, nobody has done that. And then what I read most recently for fun is, um, Elton John's book Me, which talks about his amazing career and how he overcame drug addiction and alcohol addiction and all kinds of things. And it is still at age 72 filling arenas. So that's Ah, that's another guy that pretty resilient to have beat all those those odds movie. Just out of curiosity, I did. I did. I really enjoyed it. I actually think it would be a better Broadway play, but I did enjoy it. Have you seen it? I have not. But I was just curious after reading the book, you know, typically, people say that movies were never get a so the books, right? So I just was curious. Yeah, I think the book is better because he's there's more about his early life. There's more about his writing relationship with Bernie Taupin. There's a lot about what makes him like he is and sort of the addictions he had to overcome and how much he enjoys being a father. And it's a pretty easy read, and it's it's fascinating for me who you know, I liked him 40 years ago. You know, when I was 18 19 I loved Elton John. And just to see him be, you know, as vibrant and, you know, talented today as he was then.

Scott Nelson:   44:53
It's a good movie in really compelling story, especially if you can you compare and contrast it to Queen and Freddie Mercury. And how those you know Yeah, Elton John could have you know easily, kind of fallen down the that a similar path for sure, for sure we

Beverly Huss:   45:08
were, and they were good friends. He

Scott Nelson:   45:10
was

Beverly Huss:   45:10
good friends with John Lennon and Freddie Mercury and Rod Stewart, and, you know, just kind of hearing that. And you know, it's amazing many of them survived. Given the life lifestyle they had with all the drug addiction. It's amazing they made it through to the other side,

Scott Nelson:   45:27
no doubt. Well, with that said, Let's get to the next kind of rapid fire question, which is, and you already mentioned a few people. So I'm gonna be curious who may be one that one that stands out the most. But is there a business leader or mentor that ah, that you most admire?

Beverly Huss:   45:42
There's a couple first I would, um, credit. My mom was telling me when I was four or five years old to pick a male dominated profession and excel at it. I'm the first college graduate in my family, so that was a big deal to her. My mom was an executive secretary and then an I T manager for Amoco, and she instilled that in me as a kid. And, um, when I think about, you know, back in 1964 that was a novel concept in like the Mad Men kind of days, right? The Mad Men kind of TV series days.

Scott Nelson:   46:17
So

Beverly Huss:   46:18
that's one. And then, um, the other, I would say, Ah, there would be to Ron Dollars and Ginger Graham for giving me the opportunity to run the stent unit at 35 years of age. I think that they took a big risk. And, um, that was just in incredible ride. And I feel really lucky to have worked all with all the people that I did in that particular situation, that was just amazing. So really, really lucky to have accomplished all that with those folks

Scott Nelson:   46:49
running the guidance stent business at the tender age of 35. Definitely, definitely impressive.

Beverly Huss:   46:57
Yeah. At first I don't think anybody wanted it because we were behind. So I might have been, you know, the run dollars would say, the tallest midget. So?

Scott Nelson:   47:08
So that's good. Thankfully,

Beverly Huss:   47:10
thankfully, we change that.

Scott Nelson:   47:11
That's great. Yeah, no doubt. He certainly certainly left your mark. And on that note, the kind of the last rapid fire question is, um, you know, if you would have the ability to go back in time, what would you tell your 30 year old self?

Beverly Huss:   47:25
I would tell my 30 year old self to persevere and not worry so much about the trials and tribulations of the moment that they'll you can work through him and they'll pass. And it sounds, Ah, you know, um, simple. But, um, you know, it's focused on what's important at the time and kind of favor, You know, the experience you're having. And don't worry so much about things that will work out one way or another

Scott Nelson:   47:50
relaxed about worrier. Another. Yeah. Appreciate the seasons of life and then everything as a citizen. Right. That's a great

Beverly Huss:   47:57
way to say it.

Scott Nelson:   47:58
Very good. This is, um this been a really good, really good discussion. Better. But I can't thank you enough for, you know, kind of joining Norbert and I on the on the show. You've gotta as as I've mentioned several times, you've got Ah, incredibly impressive background and, you know, very cool to hear what you're No, the boulder. You're kind of pushing up the hill with cool therapeutics to which will be super fun to follow. Um, before we, uh, kind of wrap it up, Norbert, Anything else to add? It'll

Beverly Huss:   48:25
you know what I just like to think, Beverly. I think your personality was a ton of fun. It's really enjoyable talking to you and, you know, interviewing you. There's so much more we could have gotten into. It seems so. Maybe we will get the cooler therapeutics follow up success story on ah recorded in the future. But no, thank you. Thank you. It's been a pleasure talking with you both, and I think you, you know, you really understand our industry and kind of the

Scott Nelson:   48:52
ups and downs of it and all of the really special people that air in it so and there were lots of them. Well, Beverly, I'll have you on the line here, but for everyone listening Thanks for your attention. And until the next episode of Met Cider, take care.