About Us - Ancora

At Ancora Heart, we know there are countless heart failure patients with no cure in sight. Our innovation brings us closer to achieving an unprecedented method for improving their quality of life.


Ancora Heart

We are a medical device company based in Santa Clara, CA, dedicated to helping people with heart failure feel better and live longer.

We developed AccuCinch®, the first percutaneous ventricular restoration system designed to treat heart failure. AccuCinch targets dysfunction of the left ventricle, which is the underlying cause of heart failure. Unlike current surgical or transcatheter procedures that replace or repair an otherwise-normal mitral valve, AccuCinch repairs the left ventricle to improve quality of life for heart failure patients.

Today, the outlook for heart failure patients can be characterized as a progressive decline, because a majority of patients are treated with medications that have poor survival rates. Heart failure costs the U.S. an estimated $30.7 billion each year in health care services, medications to treat heart failure, and missed days of work.1 Because of the aging population, the total number of Americans living with heart failure is expected to increase by 46% to 8.5 million in 2030, and the cost of care will more than double to $69.7 billion.1

Up to 49% of people with heart failure also suffer from functional mitral regurgitation (FMR), a condition caused when the left ventricle of the heart becomes enlarged to the point where it pulls the mitral valve leaflets apart and allows blood to flow backwards into the atrium.2 Most existing therapies only address the symptoms of FMR. Every year thousands of heart failure and FMR patients find that the disease has progressed beyond the ability for medications and pacemakers to manage symptoms, but less than 11% are candidates for mitral valve surgery.3

AccuCinch is the first and only percutaneous ventricular restoration system designed to treat both Heart Failure and FMR to bring hope to the millions of patients with limited options today.

  • Footnotes

    1 Heidenreich PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, Butler J, Dracup K, Ezekowitz MD, et al. Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123(8):933–44.
    2 Koelling T, et al. American Heart Journal. Volume 144, Issue 3, Sep 2002, Pages 524-529. Prognostic significance of mitral regurgitation and tricuspid regurgitation in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction.
    3 Zainab Samad, et al.; Management and outcomes in patients with moderate or severe functional mitral regurgitation and severe left ventricular dysfunction, European Heart Journal, Volume 36, Issue 40, 21 October 2015, Pages 2733–2741, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehv343

In 2030, the total number of Americans living with heart failure is expected to increase by 46%


Our Team

Jeffrey M. Closs

President and CEO

Mr. Closs brings proven leadership in medical devices, health policy, and technology to the Ancora Heart team. He has dedicated his career to working at the intersections of change to promote innovative, life-changing solutions. He has extensive experience founding new ventures (Benu), driving a successful IPO (Perclose), and having leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies (Fox Hollow, Edwards, Guidant, Bentley). Formerly a director at Nellix Endovascular, which was acquired by Endologix, and BioIQ, a health tech company, he is also an adjunct professor at Stanford University Center for Health Policy and the former president of the St. Raymond School Board. Mr. Closs holds an MBA from Emory University and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Russel Sampson

Chief Technical Officer

A champion for the development of minimally invasive surgical systems, Mr. Sampson brings a proven track record of invention (over 80 U.S. international patents) to his position at Ancora Heart. Leveraging his deep experience with CE and PMA approvals, commercialization, profitability and acquisition for companies such as Cytyc, Novacept, Abbott Laboratories, Space Systems/Loral and Ford Aerospace, he is responsible for our core technology, intellectual property and product development efforts. Mr. Sampson is the co-founder of Sierra Surgical Technologies (SST) and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering (AMES) from the University of California, San Diego.

Michael Zapien

Vice President of Clinical Affairs

Drawing on his expertise in transitioning innovative medical devices from the developmental stage to commercial success at several emerging startups (Elixir, Nanostim), Mr. Zapien leads our clinical research. Previously the Director of Clinical and Medical Affairs at CardioDx, Inc., he also has clinical and commercial experience at Medi-Globe, Silk Road Medical, Abbott Vascular, and Guidant Corp. Mr. Zapien is a certified clinical researcher with a MS from the University of Maryland and a BS from San Francisco State University.

Bart Beasley

Vice President of Clinical Marketing

A veteran of introducing early-stage and ground-breaking therapies to physicians, Mr. Beasley brings over 25 years of experience in healthcare marketing to Ancora Heart. By building partnerships with the clinical community, gathering first-hand insights towards procedure and product development, and enhancing clinical trial patient education and recruitment, he has helped drive the rapid growth of multiple revolutionary therapies and new therapeutic categories. Mr. Beasley served as Vice President of Marketing at Avinger, drove market development at Transcend Medical (acquired by Alcon), was Director of Marketing at Fox Hollow (acquired by ev3), and began his career at Perclose (acquired by Abbott). Mr. Beasley holds an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain and a BS in Economics from Santa Clara University.

Michael Fritz

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Mr. Fritz comes to Ancora Heart with decades of medical device industry experience including strategic leadership, management, operational, and hands-on roles in regulatory affairs, clinical research, quality assurance, and engineering. His career includes roles with small start-ups (Synapse Biomedical and Cyberkinetics) and larger companies (Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and Guidant) developing class III implantable devices and class II minimally invasive devices in diverse fields including interventional cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology, neurology, pulmonary/respiratory, laparoscopic surgery, neurosurgery, rehabilitation medicine, and neuroprosthetics. Mr. Fritz holds an MS degree in software engineering from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.

Christine Tjossem

Vice President of Biostatistics and Clinical Data Management

Ms. Tjossem brings a 35-year track record of successful growth and leadership in biostatistics and data management to her position at Ancora Heart. Her experience includes key roles establishing and managing biostatistical and data management efforts at some of the world’s leading clinical research and medical device organizations, including Medtronic, Boston Scientific, St Jude and Berlin Heart. Ms. Tjossem began her career working in medical research for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As Vice President of Biostatistics and Data Management, Ms. Tjossem is responsible for all facets of her team’s success in advising and implementing appropriate techniques and methods for statistical and data management areas. In addition to managing these line-of-business functions, Ms. Tjossem’s vast breadth and depth of experience allows her to make significant contributions to the company’s overall business, regulatory and clinical strategy. Christine received her Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from Iowa State University

Our Board of Directors


Current Press

September 24, 2018
Ancora Heart Announces Positive Interim Analysis from Study of First-of-Its-Kind Heart Failure Therapy
June 4, 2018
Experimental procedure adds years to the life of a Twisp man with heart failure
May 30, 2018
Ancora Heart Announces $17.8 Million Financing for First-of-Its-Kind Therapy for Systolic Heart Failure
May 14, 2018
Ancora Heart Expands Enrollment of U.S. Early Feasibility Study for the AccuCinch System for Left Ventricular Repair
March 16, 2018
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
AccuCinch Patient - Stephanie Rawson - Functional Mitral Regurgitation
March 16, 2018
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
MHIF Treats First Patient in AccuCinch Study for Mitral Regurgitation and Heart Failure
October 31, 2016
Guided Delivery Systems Announces Senior Leaders and Company Name Change to Ancora Heart

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