Sanarus Technologies Appoints Senior Medtech Executive Heather Simonsen to Board of Directors

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Advanced Cryoablation Company Strengthens Board of Directors to Accelerate Next Phase of Growth

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Heather Simonsen

Breast cryoablation with Sanarus’ Visica® 2 Treatment System is an important technology that addresses a significant and unmet need for improving the patient journey for women with early stage breast cancer.

Sanarus Technologies, Inc., a company dedicated to improving the treatment experience for women with early stage breast cancer, today announced the appointment of Heather Simonsen to its board of directors. The company is expanding the commercial and medtech experience of its board and Ms. Simonsen’s history of bringing patient-centric innovations to market will contribute significantly to the company’s business growth strategies.

“We are thrilled to have Heather join our Board. Her deep industry experience and commercial expertise will be invaluable,” said BJ Hardman, chairman and CEO of Sanarus. “Heather’s track record of successful commercialization and scaling new technologies in the medtech industry means she is uniquely qualified to provide guidance as Sanarus moves into its next stage of growth.”

Currently, Ms. Simonsen is Vice President of Global Marketing and Therapy Development for PQ Bypass, Inc. PQ Bypass is pioneering a minimally invasive approach to peripheral arterial disease and is a former company-in-residence of the Fogarty Institute.

Previously, Ms. Simonsen has served in senior executive leadership roles for both early stage innovative startups and Fortune 500 companies, including Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson. She spent the early part of her career on the patient care and payor side of healthcare in hospital business development and management consulting.

Ms. Simonsen has dedicated a significant part of her career toward mentoring and helping women advance in the workplace. She served as a founding board member and president of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter for several years, which now serves as a preeminent leadership development organization for Bay Area businesswomen in healthcare.

Ms. Simonsen completed the Executive Program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and holds an MBA from Chicago’s DePaul School of Business. She has held board positions with the Medical Marketing Association, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, and currently serves on the board of directors for the Peninsula Youth Theatre and on the founders board of advisors for the Stanford University-affiliated StartX MedTech Accelerator.

“Breast cryoablation with Sanarus’ Visica® 2 Treatment System is an important technology that addresses a significant and unmet need for improving the patient journey for women with early stage breast cancer,” said Simonsen. “I look forward to advancing this game-changing treatment for women and supporting the company as we move forward with our commercial growth.”

Cryoablation—also referred to as tumor freezing—is a minimally invasive procedure done under ultrasound guidance in the doctors’ office or radiology suite. After injection of local anesthesia, a thin probe is inserted through the skin directly into the tumor. Liquid nitrogen is pumped into the probe to form an “ice ball” around the lesion. Freezing destroys the tumor cells, which are then reabsorbed by the body over time. The procedure can be done in under an hour, with most patients reporting minimal discomfort and a resumption of normal activity right away. Little, if any, visible scarring occurs. Because no breast tissue is removed during the procedure, the natural shape of the breast is maintained.

In a 5-year multicenter study funded by the National Cancer Institute and sponsored by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, cryoablation with the Visica 2 Treatment System was shown to be 100% effective for complete ablation of invasive ductal breast cancer tumors <1.0 cm. The Visica 2 Treatment System was the exclusive device used in the Z1072 study and showed cryoablation to be effective in 92% of the targeted lesions. Results from this breast cancer study (ACOSOG Z1072), which included a 5-year follow-up, were published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Cryoablation with the Visica 2 Treatment System is a nonsurgical option for patients that have been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, is visible on sonogram and has been confirmed with a biopsy.

About Sanarus Technologies
In 2001, the Visica® 2 Treatment System was the first available for cryoablation of fibroadenomas. Since then, our system has been used to successfully treat thousands of patients. The Visica 2 Treatment System is FDA-cleared for the ablation of cancerous or malignant tissue and benign tumors. At Sanarus, we develop innovative solutions for the nonsurgical treatment of breast tumors. We are headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, and all our products are manufactured in the USA. Find out more at

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Karen Hambly
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