ReCor Medical taps Siemens alum as CEO amid FDA review of renal denervation system

New year, new CEO. That’s the 2023 mantra for ReCor Medical, which kicked off the year with the appointment of a new leader.

Stepping into the top job is Lara Barghout, ReCor and its corporate parent, Otsuka Medical Devices, announced Tuesday. She’ll serve as both CEO and president of the Silicon Valley startup, which has developed an ultrasound renal denervation (uRDN) therapy system to treat high blood pressure.

Barghout will be tasked with leading the global commercial rollout of the Paradise system, which earned CE mark clearance in Europe a decade ago—but didn’t launch on the continent until 2021—and which was recently submitted to the FDA for premarket approval.

“We believe our Paradise uRDN technology to be a true game changer in improving hypertension therapy, with the potential to offer a new option for physicians to help improve blood pressure outcomes for their patients on a global scale,” Barghout said in the company announcement.

She’s taking the reins from Andrew Weiss, who has led ReCor since early 2013, a busy decade that included the continued development and clinical studies of the Paradise technology, ReCor’s 2018 acquisition by Otsuka and, most recently, the FDA submission.

Barghout joins ReCor from Siemens Healthineers, where she spent four years as senior vice president of the North American division of its advanced therapies segment. Throughout much of her time at the medtech giant, she also served as executive sponsor of its Women’s Impact Network.

Prior to her tenure at Siemens, she was at Terumo Cardiovascular, maker of heart-lung machines and other devices for cardiac and vascular surgeries, for nearly two decades. That included stints heading up Terumo’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and India segment, its global sales, marketing and business development division and, finally, its global commercial operations. Barghout also spent about five years as the chair of Terumo’s Women’s Initiative Network.

“We are very excited for Ms. Barghout to lead ReCor into its next phase of global growth,” said Noriko Tojo, president of Otsuka Medical Devices. “Her deep commercial experience and adept leadership make her ideal to build on the technology development and clinical trial successes of the ReCor team, guiding the business to realize its therapeutic and commercial potential.”

ReCor’s submitted the Paradise system for FDA review at the end of November. Just a few weeks prior, during the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference in Boston, the company presented clinical trial results demonstrating the success of its renal denervation therapy in lowering blood pressure.

The system uses ultrasound ablation to burn nerves in the walls of the renal arteries, therefore disrupting the nerves’ overactivity in the kidneys and, in turn, reducing blood pressure. In a randomized study of 224 patients with uncontrolled hypertension, those who used the Paradise system saw their daytime systolic blood pressure readings drop by an average of nearly 8 mmHg, versus less than 2 mmHg for those in the control group.