New Players Bring Wealth of Experience in Marketing, Healthcare Economics and Clinical Practice
Redmond, Washington – EndoGastric Solutions® (EGS), a leader in incisionless procedural therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), today announced three new appointments to its executive team: Mike Zagger – Vice President, Sales and Marketing; Philip Macdonald – Vice President of Healthcare Economics, Policy & Reimbursement; and Adrian Lobontiu, MD, FACS – Medical Director.
“These new appointments reflect our company’s leadership position in the GERD market and our deep commitment to building a balanced commercial organization. Our objective is to provide greater access of the TIF procedure to the medical community and the patients they serve,” said Skip Baldino, President and CEO of EGS.
“With a significant body of clinical evidence supporting the TIF procedure, multiple recent EsophyX device product clearances, and the AMA approval of a new Category 1 CPT code effective January 1, 2016, we are poised to scale our business. The addition of these seasoned healthcare executives will enable us to maximize our commercialization plans and bring optimal value to the GERD medical community,” concluded Baldino.
Michael Zagger, Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Mr. Zagger is a seasoned professional in the medical device and pharmaceutical industry with nearly 30 years of domestic and international experience. Prior to joining EGS, Mr. Zagger was a Senior Vice President and General Manager with St. Jude Medical—a Fortune 500 provider of cardiac and neuromodulation technologies. During his 15-year career at St. Jude Medical, he held positions of leadership in Sales Management, Marketing, and Corporate and National Accounts. In addition, he was General Manager of Latin America and Canada. Prior to joining St. Jude Medical, Mr. Zagger spent 12 years working at Bayer Pharmaceutical Division, where he held several roles of increasing responsibility during his tenure.
Mr. Zagger’s work experience and skill set spans the areas of field sales and senior sales management, marketing management, market development, corporate and national accounts, and clinical education and training. He began his career at the Cleveland Clinic, supporting clinical duties in cardiovascular surgery procedures. Mr. Zagger graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and has an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Philip Macdonald, Vice President, Healthcare Economics, Policy & Reimbursement
Mr. Macdonald brings over two decades of healthcare economics and reimbursement experience to the EGS management team. He brings a wealth of experience in healthcare economics that will benefit the company as it focuses on evolving health policy issues, payer coverage, economic outcomes data and other reimbursement-related initiatives.
Recently, EGS announced the American Medical Association (AMA) created a new Category I Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code with a procedure descriptor associated with the company’s Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF®) procedure for reflux which will be effective January 1, 2016.
Mr. Macdonald previously served as Vice President of Healthcare Economics, Policy & Reimbursement at Given Imaging (now Medtronic). Additionally, he has worked for other medical device manufactures—Siemens, St. Jude Medical and Bayer—and worked in the provider sector at HCA corporate.
Mr. Macdonald has a doctorate in Healthcare Management & Economics from the University of La Verne. He received his master’s degree in Hospital Administration as well as his bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of Memphis.
Adrian Lobontiu, MD, FACS, Medical Director
Dr. Lobontiu rejoins EGS as our Medical Director, a position he held for nine years prior to a one year absence from the GERD marketplace.
Dr. Lobontiu’s EGS career began in 2005 in Paris, France where he managed the company’s European business. Dr. Lobontiu is based in US since 2012, as the Medical Director and managing the clinical team responsible for collecting and publishing randomized controlled trial data from RESPECT, TEMPO and TIF registry studies. To date, Dr. Lobontiu has performed or proctored more than 1,000 TIF surgical procedures.
From 1999-2005, he was Clinical Director at Intuitive Surgical Europe (NASDAQ – ISRG. In that position, he led the team that secured the CE mark for Intuitive Surgical Europe’s surgical robot. Mr. Lobontiu’s career also includes research management roles and executive positions in medical industry, such as Plasma Surgical in Atlanta, GA or Schering AG in Berlin, Germany. He practiced surgery at Henri Mondor University Hospital in Paris, France and a few other University Hospitals in Greater Paris Area, France.
Dr. Lobontiu is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Surgeons (SAGES), member of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)a member of the French Surgery Association (AFC). He is also an internationally published author and frequent guest speaker at international conferences and congresses. Dr. Lobontiu earned his MD from the University of Medicine Targu-Mures Medical School, and his Specialty in Surgery from Pierre et Marie Curie University of Medicine in Paris, France. In 2012 he obtained the Effective Use of Power Certificate of Stanford Executive Program from Stanford Graduate School of Business, California, United States of America.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic condition in which the gastroesophageal valve (GEV) allows gastric contents to wash back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and possible injury to the esophageal lining. The stomach produces hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes after a meal to aid in the digestion of food. The cells that line the stomach are coated with a protective mucus that can withstand gastric contents, while the cells that line the esophagus lack the same protection.
GERD is the most common gastrointestinal-related diagnosis made by physicians during clinical visits in the U.S. It is estimated that pain and discomfort from acid reflux impacts over 23 million people two or more times per week in the U.S. The standard recommendations for symptomatic GERD patients include lifestyle changes (e.g., diet, scheduled eating times, and sleeping positions) and escalating doses of prescription medications for prolonged periods of time. Long-term, maximum-dose usage of prescription medications has been linked to a variety of other health complications.
About Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF®) procedure for reflux
Performed entirely through the mouth without the need for external incisions through the skin, the TIF procedure offers patients who require an anatomical change to correct the underlying cause of GERD, another treatment option beyond traditional surgery. Studies show that for up to three years after the TIF procedure esophageal inflammation (esophagitis) is eliminated and most patients are able to stop using daily PPI medications to control symptoms.
Over 50 peer-reviewed studies of the TIF procedure have been published in medical journals with results from over 800 unique patients treated. The TIF procedure has an established safety and efficacy profile with more than 16,700 patients treated worldwide. For more information, visit www.GERDHelp.com.
About the EsophyX® device
The EsophyX device was FDA cleared in 2007, and is commercially available in the United States. Inserted through the patient’s mouth with visual guidance from an endoscope, the EsophyX device is used to reconstruct the gastroesophageal valve (GEV) in order to restore its function as a barrier to prevent stomach acids from washing back up into the esophagus.
About EndoGastric Solutions®
Based in Redmond, WA, EndoGastric Solutions, Inc. (www.endogastricsolutions.com), is a leader in the endoluminal reconstructive treatment of digestive diseases. EGS’ mission is to combine the most advanced concepts in gastroenterology and surgery to develop products and procedures that address unmet needs in gastrointestinal diseases.
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EndoGastric Solutions, Inc.
Lazar Partners, LTD
Phone: 646-871-8481 (direct)
The EsophyX device with SerosaFuse fasteners is indicated for use in transoral tissue approximation, full thickness plication and ligation in the GI tract and is indicated for the treatment of symptomatic chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease in patients who require and respond to pharmacological therapy. It is also indicated to narrow the gastroesophageal junction and reduce hiatal hernia