Former ADAC executive returns to imaging arena

February 13, 1991

Richard M. Ferrari, formerly executive vice president and generalmanager of ADAC Laboratories, was hired last month as presidentand CEO of Cardiovascular Imaging Systems (CVIS) of Sunnyvale,CA. The move marks Ferrari's return to medical imaging after

Richard M. Ferrari, formerly executive vice president and generalmanager of ADAC Laboratories, was hired last month as presidentand CEO of Cardiovascular Imaging Systems (CVIS) of Sunnyvale,CA. The move marks Ferrari's return to medical imaging after aneight-month stint as president of Medstone, a struggling lithotripsyvendor.

Ferrari left Medstone last month after the Costa Mesa, CA,firm suspended its biliary lithotripsy development effort. Competingtherapies and regulatory delays have taken the wind out of lithotripsysales. CVIS, on the other hand, is a five-year-old pioneer inintraluminal ultrasound, a field with bright market prospects.

"This is a fascinating area. (The new position) is a stepback into something I really enjoy." Ferrari told SCAN.

CVIS received Food and Drug Administration approval for a peripheralvascular catheter in May 1989 and for a smaller coronary catheterlast June. The company has sold 60 systems, with about 50 installed.Most of its users are interventional cardiologists, he said.

One reason for intraluminal ultrasound's bright future is thegrowing concern about a high restenosis rate following coronaryballoon angioplasty procedures. Some estimates place the restenosisrate at 30% to 40%.

Intraluminal ultrasound could help physicians dilate the vesselsmore appropriately or chose the correct balloon size, Ferrarisaid.

"If you can see what you are doing, you may be able toreduce that restenosis rate," he said.

Another bright prospect for intraluminal ultrasound is thecombination of therapy and diagnostic imaging in a single catheter.CVIS does not have such a combination device, but is exploringoptions in that direction, Ferrari said.

Dual intraluminal therapy and imaging opportunities are notrestricted to vascular work. Guidance of lasers in prostate surgeryis a potential application outside this area, he said.

The newness of the technology and unfamiliarity with its usefor diagnosis are obstacles to the spread of intraluminal ultrasoundtechnology. This situation will require equipment vendors to investin user education.

"My number-one objective (in the new position) is to helppromote the clinical use and establish the efficacy of intravascularultrasound," Ferrari said.

Another goal for the CEO is to boost catheter sales by encouragingthe use of CVIS hardware on equipment produced by other medicalmanufacturers. CVIS is close to finalizing its first such strategicalliance, he said.