Aortica Corp. Taps Clinical Expertise to Bolster Its Management Team

Start-Up Medical Device Company Appoints Richard Van Bibber PhD as Vice President of Clinical Affairs to Help Guide Development & Validation of “Patient-Specific” 3-D Printed AAA Template

BELLEVUE, Wash.--()--Aortica Corporation, an early stage privately held company focused on the development of innovative treatments for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), today announced that it has made a key addition to its executive management team. Dr. Richard Van Bibber has joined the company as Vice President of Clinical Affairs. Dr. Van Bibber has a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics and 20 years of experience in the medical device field.

“Rich has a strong reputation for bringing an exceptionally high level of clinical and technical expertise to support early clinical usage of new technology”

“Rich has a strong reputation for bringing an exceptionally high level of clinical and technical expertise to support early clinical usage of new technology,” said Aortica President and CEO Tom Douthitt. “He has led research efforts in both the pre-clinical and clinical settings and has advanced products through the development cycle and into the commercial arena. Additionally, he has been instrumental in managing studies, proctoring cases, and training physicians both domestically and internationally. I am very pleased to have someone of Rich’s caliber on the Aortica executive management team.”

Dr. Van Bibber joins Aortica from Abiomed, where he managed their advanced clinical team supporting the company’s ventricular assist devices in both the pre-market and commercial settings. Previously Dr. Van Bibber directed new product development for Pathway Medical, successfully leading the team through its acquisition by Bayer Interventional. Prior to that, Dr. Van Bibber led the pre-clinical efforts and supported multiple clinical trials for Mitral Valve repair company, Cardiac Dimensions.

“Aortica is simplifying the process for managing treatment of patients with AAA disease who exhibit anatomical abnormalities, which currently limit their treatment options to major open surgery,” stated Dr. Van Bibber. “Aortica is advancing the science and technology of ‘Personalized Medicine,’ a practice more commonly found in the biotech industry. The fact that Aortica is pursuing this for medical devices has tremendous appeal and represents the future of all medicine.”

No two patients with AAA disease have the same anatomical considerations or challenges. Approximately 30-40% of patients diagnosed annually in the U.S. with moderate to severe AAA disease are ineligible for less invasive endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) due to anatomical limitations, which include the presence of branch arteries or angulation of the aorta near the aneurysm and in the area where an endograft must be anchored. Aortica is developing an approach designed to allow standard endografts to be personalized to fit each patient’s unique anatomy, thereby allowing for secure anchoring and seal of the endograft. Consequently, patients who previously were faced with a highly invasive surgical course now will have the option of far less invasive EVAR.

About Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Disease

Each year between 150,000 and 180,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). An aneurysm is a large bulge in the aorta (the largest artery in the human body). It can gradually expand over time—without any symptoms—until it bursts, causing massive internal bleeding that results in death if not treated at a specialized center immediately. For years major open surgery was the only treatment option, which is risky due to its complicated nature and because it carries a 3.0% mortality rate within 30 days of surgery.

About Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR)

In the 1990’s, a new technique for controlling aneurysms was developed using a graft inserted through the femoral arteries. This technique is called endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). EVAR is significantly less invasive than open surgery and is associated with a mortality rate six times lower. Patients recover faster, leave the hospital sooner, and return to normal daily life activities more quickly. Consequently, EVAR has become the gold standard for treatment of AAA disease.

About Aortica Corporation

Aortica Corporation was founded to design, manufacture, and market tools for treatment of patients with AAA disease who have aortic anatomy that limits their treatment options. While EVAR has become a highly desirable option for treatment of AAA disease, between 30-40% of patients are not candidates for EVAR because their aortic anatomy is structured in a manner that does not allow an endograft to be anchored properly. The only option for these patients is major open surgery. Aortica is advancing the science of personalized medicine by developing a “patient-specific” solution to this problem that combines a patient’s CT scans with its proprietary software and 3-D printing to personalize a standard endograft to fit precisely and anchor securely within each patient’s unique anatomy.

For further information visit the company’s website at


Aortica Corporation
Stacy Douthitt, 425-209-0272 ext 106