Acutus Medical makes interim CEO permanent amid Medtronic deal, other cost-cutting moves

At the start of 2022—fresh off a year that brought in record-high revenues of $17.3 million but also a net loss of more than $117 million—Acutus Medical vowed to implement a series of cost-saving measures.

Those efforts included layoffs and a plan to simultaneously ramp up sales in certain geographic regions and narrow its product offerings, the latter of which culminated in a planned sale of Acutus’ left-heart access devices to Medtronic.

Now, several months into its cost-cutting quest, Acutus is beginning to reap the rewards of a slimmed-down business and appointed a new CEO—effective Thursday—to help navigate its next moves.

Taking the reins is David Roman, who was named Acutus’ chief financial officer in March 2021 and took on the role of interim CEO this past May as his predecessor, Vince Burgess, stepped down.

Before joining Acutus, Roman spent several years as a medtech research analyst at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, then nearly half a decade as a VP of strategy at Baxter International. At Acutus, while transitioning into his new post as CEO, president and member of the board of directors, he will also continue to serve as CFO until a replacement is named.

“Since being appointed interim CEO, David has hit the ground running with an intense focus on reinvigorating the company’s strategy, driving operational improvements and successfully completing the first close of our left-heart access portfolio sale to Medtronic and debt refinancing,” Scott Huennekens, chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement.

The first $50 million close of Acutus' asset sale to Medtronic was completed at the end of June, when it handed over the intellectual property rights to a handful of devices designed to help surgeons reach the left atrium of the heart, necessary for variety of procedures for left-atrial appendage closure, mitral valve repair, ablations for atrial fibrillation and more.

Sans those devices—which it will continue to manufacture on Medtronic’s behalf—Acutus’ portfolio now revolves solely around its 3D heart-mapping software, which is used to help identify the source of arrhythmias to guide ablation treatments.

Alongside the appointment of its new chief executive, Acutus also posted preliminary financial results for the second quarter of this year. The company said it expects to report revenues between $4 million and $4.1 million, which would represent a drop of around 14% compared to the same period last year but about a 10% increase over 2022's first quarter.

In tandem, Acutus is also projecting a drop in its cash burn rate compared to the first three months of this year, Roman said in a statement, citing the first wave of benefits from the company’s cost-saving efforts. Though he refrained from disclosing the most recent quarter’s total cash burn ahead of a scheduled earnings announcement in August, he said it should fall below the first quarter’s net loss of $40 million.