Q'Apel: Medical Revolutionizing Catheter Technology
King Nelson, CEO
Since its introduction in 1991, interventional neurovascular procedures have been the go-to treatment option for patients with brain aneurysms, fistulas and arterial venous malformations. At the core of this minimally invasive approach is the use of access catheters. Access catheters enable surgeons to reach the vasculature in the brain without making an incision on a patient’s skull. Over the last two decades, access catheters have disrupted neurovascular interventions by allowing surgeons to deliver medical devices through the catheter lumen, thereby enhancing the efficiency, efficacy, and safety of treatment. In addition to accessing the brain to treat vascular malformations, catheters are also used to aspirate clot and restrict blood flow in the brain during interventional stroke procedures. Today doctors struggle to leverage the newer and more cutting-edge aspiration devices in combination with conventional balloon guide catheters due to the low trackability and support, which is vital in enhancing the treatment of neurovascular disorders. To help doctors overcome this challenge and revolutionize neurovascular interventions, California-based Q’Apel Medical has developed novel best-in-class catheter technology that delivers better trackability and proximal support which enables the efficient delivery of therapeutic medical devices. “Our catheters are designed to provide superior access in endovascular treatment of stroke and neurovascular procedures, helping doctors navigate complicated neurovasculature and deliver emerging medical devices,” says King Nelson, CEO at Q’Apel.
Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur James Dreher and current CTO, Jeff Krolik, Q’Apel continually strives to be an organization that leverages highly innovative products to help physicians overcome their challenges concerning the delivery of successful neurovascular procedures. According to Nelson—who has been a part of several management teams before joining Q’Apel in 2019—the people behind Q’Apel’s success are the most experienced, creative, and innovative bunch of professionals that he has ever worked with.
“Apart from Krolik’s intuitive inputs on product design and Dreher’s extensive partner network, our COO, Ken Peartree’s emphasis on understanding customer needs, has helped us seamlessly connect with doctors and offer a leading-edge solution,” adds Nelson.
Currently, the company’s portfolio comprises of two core products, namely, its Walrus Balloon Guide Catheter (BGC) system, and the Wahoo Control™ Catheter Selectflex access solution. Q’Apel Walrus BGC is specifically designed to assist doctors in performing mechanical thrombectomy procedures on stroke patients. “Unlike existing catheter products, the Walrus BGC has unmatched trackability; thanks to its variable shaft constriction, as well as a larger lumen that allows for the delivery of complex therapies,” states Nelson. Highlighting the value of Q’Apel’s Walrus BGC, Nelson mentions instances where the product enabled doctors to deliver the large bore aspiration devices which previously was a big challenge that hindered the delivery of care utilizing a balloon guide catheter. Q’Apel’s Wahoo Control™ Catheter system, on the other hand, features the proprietary Selectflex technology—providing unparalleled trackability and support—which facilitates the easy insertion and guidance of intravascular catheters into in the peripheral and neuro vasculature. The Wahoo Control™ Catheter is a dual mode catheter, providing two distinct modes – Tracking Mode and Support Mode. The physician controls the change of modes at any given moment during a clinical case. The hybrid nature of Wahoo shows real promise in eliminating the use of multiple catheters in challenging procedures.
At the heart of its business prowess is its team of professionals that recognize clinical challenges and develop novel solutions quickly and creatively. “Our ability to see the problem and build a cutting-edge product in a very timely manner is what differentiates us from our contemporaries and plays a huge role in our success,” opines Nelson. Moving forward, Q’Apel plans to significantly increase its manufacturing capacity. At the same time, the company is in the process of acquiring a CE certification, which will allow Q’Apel to expand into Europe in 2021. From a portfolio standpoint, Nelson extols on developing a radial access product that will enable the company to help physicians in radial artery procedures. “With our three-pronged approach that involves increasing manufacturing, expanding into newer geographies, and developing innovative products, Q’Apel is perfectly poised to become the preferred catheter technology vendor across the healthcare sector,” concludes Nelson.