Sequana Medical is a Swiss medical device company dedicated to improving patient lives and reducing healthcare costs by developing innovative implantable pump systems to manage fluid balance within the body.

The Company’s core technology is a fully implantable pump system designed to move excess fluid to the bladder, where it is passed naturally from the body through normal urination.

The Company’s first product, the alfapump® system, is an innovative solution for the management of ascites.  Ascites is a fluid that collects in the abdominal cavity in people with advanced liver disease, certain cancers, or congestive heart failure.  The first and only system for the automatic and continual removal of ascites, the alfapump® system was launched to the European market in 2011. Other applications of this novel pump technology are in development.

Our mission
Executive Team
Our history
Sequana Medical is dedicated to improving patient lives and reducing healthcare costs by developing innovative implantable pump systems to manage fluid balance within the body.

“Ascites is a debiliating condition that affects millions of people across the world. Seeing the positive impact Sequana Medical’s technology has on the lives of patients suffering with treatment-resistant ascites is a constant source of motivation for the Sequana Team”

Ian Crosbie

Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer

Ian has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare sector, both in-house at medical device and pharmaceutical companies, and as an investment banker at leading global firms. He has extensive expertise and a strong track record in capital markets, licensing and strategic transactions.  Prior to joining Sequana Medical, Ian was Chief Financial Officer of GC Aesthetics Ltd. based in Dublin.

Before that, Mr. Crosbie was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at Circassia Pharmaceuticals plc, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy immunotherapy where he led the execution of the company’s ₤210 million IPO, as well as the M&A & licensing activities. Prior to Circassia, Ian enjoyed a 20-year career in corporate finance, including Managing Director, Healthcare Investment Banking at Jefferies International Limited and Director, Healthcare Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank.  He has a degree in Engineering, Economics and Management from Oxford University.

Gijs Klarenbeek

MD, Consulting Chief Medical Officer

Gijs has over 14 years academic and health care industry experience. After his training in abdominal surgery at the University of Leuven, he held multiple positions in Medical Affairs, Clinical and Marketing at large pharmaceutical (Sanofi, AstraZeneca) and medical device companies. These include roles as Director of Medical Affairs Europe at Boston Scientific, providing leadership to the medical support for the portfolio of products in the Structural Heart and Medical / Surgical divisions, and as Worldwide Medical Director Clinical Research at Johnson & Johnson’s medical device division (Cordis and Cardiovascular Care Franchise), supporting the clinical development of different products through regulatory submission (CE mark & IDE), post-market commitments and development. Most recently, he is a consultant specialized in clinical and medical support for medical device companies. Gijs holds an MD from the University of Leuven and a degree in Business Administration from the Institute for Pharmaceutical Business Administration (IFB).  

Orlando Antunes

Global Vice President QM/QA/RA

Orlando has over 17 years of experience within quality management, quality assurance, clinical and regulatory affairs in the medical device industry.  Antunes graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1993 and began his professional career in the R&D team of PLUS Orthopedics AG, a Swiss orthopedics manufacturer, and in 1998 assumed global responsibility for the Regulatory Affairs department.

Since then he has served as Head of QM/RA at Thommen Medical AG, Head of QM/RA at Philips AG in Zurich, with specific responsibility for the ALPS Healthcare division, as well as Vice President of RA at Medela AG. Orlando chairs the mirror groups of ISO TC 210 and CEN TC 03 at the Swiss Standards Association and is the official Swiss Representative for these technical committees at ISO- and CEN-Level. He is also a long term member of various working groups related to regulatory activities at EUCOMED, the European Confederation of Medical Devices Manufacturers in Brussels.

Orlando holds a dual degree Master in Business Administration from the University of Bern and Rochester, NY in the USA.

Dirk Fengels

Global Vice President Engineering and Manufacturing

Dirk has over 15 years’ experience in research and development in multidisciplinary high-tech environments. He has extensive expertise in developing innovative solutions for the medical device industry. Prior to joining Sequana Medical, Dirk lead the Sensors Systems group at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) for 10 years, where his team specialized in developing innovative sensors, mechatronic systems and automated fluid handling solutions to create unique selling propositions on behalf of various industry partners.

In his role, Dirk was also responsible for aligning the research strategy in the automation field with industry needs and he mentored research and industry projects.

Prior to CSEM, he was responsible for the development of next generation products in two medical start-up companies, one in Switzerland and one in Silicon Valley, where both products reached market maturity. Dirk holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich (ETH).

Martijn Blom

Chief Commercial Officer

Martijn has over 15 years’ experience in the life sciences industry.  Most recently he was the Director of International Marketing at Myriad Genetics, responsible for the marketing development of genetic testing in the international markets.

Previous to Myriad, he worked as Director of Marketing and Market Development at PulmonX, a start up from Redwood City focusing on developing and marketing minimally-invasive medical devices and technologies to expand and improve treatment options for emphysema patients.

Prior to this he was Director International Marketing with Alere where he spent more than 7 years leading the marketing, training and marketing communications teams, for all of their business units: Cardiology, Women’s Health, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Blood Borne Pathogens, Toxicology and Health Management. Martijn studied economics at the MEAO in Breda and specialized at de Rooi Pannen in Marketing and Sales management.

Publication of the PIONEER study

2013 saw the publication of the PIONEER study results in the Journal of Hepatology, Europe’s leading hepatology publication. The study demonstrated the safety and performance of the alfapump system. Today Sequana Medical continues to expand sales of the alfapump system and is developing the next generation of products.

Launch on International Liver Congress

In 2012, Sequana Medical launched the alfapump system during the International Liver Congress, the largest annual gathering of hepatologists worldwide.

Sales for 2012 exceeded CHF 1 million. Also in 2012 the Company initiated a multi-centre European Randomized Trial in patients with ascites caused by liver disease, and received CE-mark approval for the removal of ascites caused by cancer.

alfapump system received CE-mark

Enrolment in the PIONEER Study was completed, and the alfapump system received CE-mark for the removal of ascites caused by cirrhosis of the liver. The Company completed a Series B funding round and changed its name to Sequana Medical.

First alfapump implant
Company relocated to Zurich

Dr. Johnson completed a Series A financing round involving several investors. This allowed the Company, called NovaShunt at the time, to relocate to Zurich, hire technical staff and complete the final design of the alfapump system.

First prototypes

In 2005, the Company’s founders built the first prototypes and demonstrated technical feasibility of the pump concept.

The idea is born

In the year 2000, the initial idea for an automated pump for the management of ascites came from a young physician in the US who was looking for a better way to manage patients undergoing repeated paracentesis (drainage) procedures.