SANTA ROSA -- Direct Flow Medical, Inc., a privately held medical device company focused on minimally invasive implant to treat patients with heart valve disease, announced the appointment of Charles Davidson, MD, as chief medical officer.

Dr. Davidson has more than 20 years experience in interventional cardiology and medicine and worked extensively with medical device industry leaders and startup companies, according to the Santa Rosa-based company.  He is currently a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is the director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and clinical chief of cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

His professional memberships include fellowships of the American College of Cardiology, the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions and the Clinical Council of the American Heart Association. Dr. Davidson held prior positions at Duke University Medical Center and Yale University School of Medicine.

"Dr. Davidson’s experience in interventional cardiology and his extensive knowledge of cardiac care will be invaluable to Direct Flow Medical as we continue to expand our clinical trials and drive the future growth of the company,” Bernard Lyons, president and chief executive of Direct Flow Medical, said in a statement. “His longstanding thought leadership in the care of patients with cardiac disease, experience in novel interventional devices combined with his first-hand experience in the transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures will help us achieve our clinical and market objectives. Simply, this is just a terrific addition to our existing team.”

The current clinical programs are actively recruiting patients outside the U.S., according to the company, which was founded in 2004. 

It has a second technology and manufacturing facility in Lake Forest. The company’s implant design is not limited to aortic valve disease but is applicable to mitral and other heart valve anatomical sites.

Direct Flow Medical said it has raised three rounds of funding to date from EDF Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, Spray Venture Partners, Foundation Medical Partners, VantagePoint Venture Partners, ePlanet Venture Partners and strategic corporate investors.