Healthcare Industry News:  daytime sleepiness 

Devices Personnel

 News Release - May 1, 2007

Aspire Medical Appoints Roseanne Varner as President and CEO

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 1 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Aspire Medical Inc., a privately held, venture capital backed medical device company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel minimally invasive surgical devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), announced the appointment, effective immediately, of Roseanne Varner as President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Varner will also join Aspire's board of directors.

"I am very excited about joining the Aspire Medical team and look forward to leading the company into its next phase as we begin our clinical trials in the US and prepare for commercialization," said Ms. Varner. "Patients with obstructive sleep apnea have limited treatment options today. Aspire's technology has demonstrated promising initial results in Europe, and we are anticipating our next phase of clinical investigations here in the United States. The Advance System promises to be a simple, minimally invasive and effective new treatment for obstructive sleep apnea."

"We are extremely pleased to have Roseanne join Aspire as Chief Executive Officer," said Michael Kaplan, Partner at Three Arch Partners, one of the founding investors of Aspire Medical. "The board of directors was impressed with her deep experience in the medical device industry, her proven leadership in building profitable companies, and the passion she brings as an individual to the need for better treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. We are confident that Aspire, behind Roseanne's leadership, will push forward in clinical studies and commercialization of the Advance System."

Mr. Kaplan went on to say: "The board of directors also wishes to express its sincere thanks and appreciation to Erik van der Burg, who served as the Company's founding President and Chief Executive Officer. We appreciate his capable leadership during Aspire's first three years, delivering an innovative and very promising product into its initial clinical use. We are truly indebted to Erik for his commitment, hard work, and results he produced."

Prior to joining Aspire Medical, Ms. Varner served as President and CEO of Atherotech, Inc. where she transformed the company into the leader in the expanded cholesterol testing market. Prior to joining Atherotech, she was president and CEO of Gynecare, Inc., where she spearheaded the company's growth and subsequent acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Earlier, she served as CEO of Luxar Corporation, a privately held manufacturer of laser surgery tools for cosmetic, medical and dental applications, where she positioned the company for an acquisition by ESC Medical. Her prior experience also includes several senior management positions with Medtronic, I-Flow Corporation, Applied Plastics and American Hospital Supply. Ms. Varner holds a B.S. degree from Ohio State University and an M.S. degree in systems management from the University of Southern California

About Aspire Medical and the Advance System

Aspire Medical was founded in 2004 and is a privately held, venture capital backed medical device company focused on developing minimally invasive treatments for sleep disordered breathing and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Investors include Three Arch Partners and New Leaf Venture Partners.

OSA is a disease that causes patients to stop breathing during sleep and results in excessive daytime sleepiness. As an OSA patient falls asleep, the tongue relaxes and can block the airway and breathing. Eventually the patient awakens and after moving his or her tongue forward, re-establishes airflow. This process can repeat itself hundreds of times each night. OSA can also lead to numerous cardiovascular complications and contribute to death. Moderate-to-severe OSA afflicts approximately 17M patients in the United States alone.

Aspire's first product is the Advance System, a minimally invasive surgical implant used by otolaryngologists for obstructive sleep apnea. It is implanted in the tongue in a 45 minute procedure with the goal of preventing collapse of the airway behind the tongue. It is currently under clinical investigation.

For more information about Aspire Medical, please visit our website at www.aspiremedical.com


Source: Aspire Medical

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