ViewRay Inc., a privately held medical device company, today announced that its board of directors has appointed industry veteran Chris A. Raanes as president and CEO, effective immediately. Raanes joins ViewRay from Accuray Inc., where he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer. At ViewRay, he will be charged with driving the worldwide commercial growth of the ViewRay system, which provides a unique combination of simultaneous radiotherapy delivery and continuous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the treatment of cancer.
"Chris is an ideal fit for ViewRay," says company founder James F. Dempsey, PhD, now ViewRay's chief scientific officer. "His wealth of experience in the launch and maturation of radiation therapy devices, along with his record of driving new clinical approaches in radiation oncology, will help to bring the benefits of ViewRay technology to the widest possible group of patients."
With more than 14 years of experience as a senior executive in private and public medical device companies, Raanes brings a proven track record in commercial and operational disciplines and considerable expertise in building global distribution channels. At Accuray, Raanes was instrumental in transforming the company from a start-up niche player into the number three vendor in the radiation therapy industry. He drove continuous product innovation during his tenure, and as the company's number two executive, he co-led Accuray's acquisition and integration of TomoTherapy Inc. in 2011. Prior to joining Accuray, Raanes served as vice president and general manager of imaging at PerkinElmer Optoelectronics, where he led a joint venture with GE Healthcare, brought new technologies to market, and executed successful partnerships with major radiation therapy vendors.
Raanes will succeed Gregory M. Ayers, MD, PhD, who successfully guided the ViewRay system through its early commercialization and marketing clearance from the U.S. FDA, which the company received in 2012. "On behalf of myself and the company," says Raanes, "I want to thank Greg Ayers for all the excellent work done so far in getting the ViewRay system ready for launch."
By using MRI technology and eliminating the radiation exposure associated with computed tomography (CT) scans, the ViewRay system allows continuous imaging to take place during the delivery of radiation therapy. "ViewRay is creating an exciting new clinical paradigm," says Raanes. "No other system enables physicians to directly view the tumor during treatment. This capability is a significant enhancement to treatment accuracy. It also enables doctors to track daily changes to the tumor and surrounding tissue as the treatment progresses, and thereby to personalize their strategy for each patient. Once clinicians discover the possibilities of the ViewRay system, we believe it will become the new standard of care in radiation oncology."
ViewRay systems have already been acquired by the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center.