For the Record with Denis Harrington, President, CEO and Director, VentureMed – Medical Alley Association

For the Record with Denis Harrington, President, CEO and Director, VentureMed

Denis Harrington is President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of VentureMed. Previously, he was the owner of Denis L. Harrington Consulting, LLC, a management and strategy consulting firm he established in December 2012 after nearly 30 years of successful leadership roles in the U.S. Army and the Medical Device Industry. Denis presently serves as an Executive Consultant and Board Director for several medical device companies.

Denis has previously served as CEO for BridgePoint Medical and NexGen Medical, successfully leading BridgePoint from its development stage through commercialization and to successful acquisition by Boston Scientific in October 2012. Denis came to BridgePoint Medical from Boston Scientific where he spent 18 years. Denis’ last role at BSC was as Senior Vice President of U.S. Cardiology, Rhythm and Vascular Sales, managing more than 1,800 people and $3 billion in revenue. Denis is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He and his wife reside in Wayzata, Minn., and have four grown sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren.

Give us VentureMed’s elevator pitch.

VentureMed Group, Inc., is an early-stage company in Plymouth, Minn., that develops and markets innovative endovascular medical devices to solve unmet medical needs in the treatment of stenoses of arteriovenous (AV) fistulas and grafts and peripheral artery disease (PAD) lesions. The FLEX VPTM System is a unique, non-balloon-based approach to optimizing revascularization by creating long controlled-depth micro-incisions that release circumferential tension to improve vessel compliance and enable luminal gain with less vessel trauma that may cause restenosis. FLEX was designed to provide controlled and predictable pre-treatment to optimize outcomes in complex stenoses and lesions of any length or vessel morphology.

What is one thing the Medical Alley community might be unaware of about VentureMed that you think would be good to know?

Our small but mighty company has been very busy over the last year working on our clinical study database. In the last 12 months, we have had nine data presentations/publications in both AV and PAD.  Most recently our 12-Month AV Registry Data and 12-Month Belong PAD data was presented at VEITH Symposium. In tabulating and analyzing our AV Registry Data, we discovered some very encouraging and impactful data that FLEX works particularly well in a few disparity/underserved populations including the African American population. From our findings we have launched a disparities initiative with a distinguished panel of physicians and patient advocates. We are very excited about our data and our 2023 endeavors. 

How have the last few years changed VentureMed for the long term?

In 2019, VentureMed moved the entire company from its incubator in Toledo, Ohio, to its present headquarters in Plymouth. This move, to the heartland of Medical Alley, transformed VentureMed.  Medical Alley is rich in medical device resources including experienced human resources which allowed VentureMed to find the best and the brightest talent to bring the company to where we are today. 

In 2021, VentureMed pivoted its focus to serving hemodialysis patients who suffer from end stage kidney disease and treated in AV access centers 2-4 times per week. This pivot allowed us to demonstrate significant benefit for a second group of patients, in addition to the peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients we had been previously serving.

In 2022, as mentioned earlier, two studies, one for AV access patients and one for PAD patients, were completed. These two studies, whose 12-month results which have now been presented, will prove to be a significant foundation for the positive impact of our device. Good clinical studies with good data make all the difference in success – we are seeing that now.

What are the big milestones to come in the next few years for VentureMed?

Our future is bright and busy. In the next six-to-24 months, VentureMed expects to:

  1. Fully launch our 75 cm length device, targeted at the AV access market, to fill an important gap in the treatment of AV access management to include difficult to reach and treat cephalic arch lesions for our clinicians and their patients.
  2. Submit application for reimbursement for the AV access use of our devices that, when approved, will enable reimbursement starting January 1, 2024.
  3. With reimbursement, expand our selling team and growing revenue.
  4. Develop and launch new products focused on platform expansion (an .035 wire compatible device) and new markets (a below-the-knee dedicated device).

What does leadership look like to you?

Leadership ultimately looks like success. That success is driven by fully engaged people who understand how all of what they do will help drive the targeted success; their belief that the plan they are enabling is the right plan; and their trust that their co-workers and their leaders are as fully committed as they are. 

What is the best advice you have received in your career? What is the worst?

Best advice: “Never arrive” — you can always get better/improve. What got you here won’t get you there. And always seek opportunities to have fun.

Worst advice – “Just give it (fill-in the blank for “it”) more time. Things will improve over time.” Things rarely (if ever) improve simply by giving it time. “Time” must be fortified by adding (or sometimes subtracting) a catalyst or a change-agent.

What have been the most rewarding moments in your career?

There are too many to try to narrow down. I have been very blessed and fortunate in my long medical device career and short, but impactful, military career. What I can say is that the most rewarding parts of my career ALWAYS included achieving objectives no one thought achievable with a bunch of the greatest people around.

What is one personal goal for the upcoming year?

Spending more time with my grandchildren. They think I am funny and reasonably special. I plan to test both observations!

How do you relax / decompress?

We have a cabin in Northwest Wisconsin. It’s a place that brings great relaxation for my family and me. We love to be on the lake boating, swimming and pulling into one of the seven or so restaurants on the lake. We love the Friday night fish fry and the cheese curds, too. 

What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?

Medical Alley (and I am so happy you went back to the original namesake) represents the Greater Minnesota medical device community tirelessly and with tremendous credibility. Your work to promote and partner with all of us here is exceptional and greatly appreciated. We have something very special here and I am thrilled to be a part of it. 

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