RSF executive moves brain surgery medical company to Solana Beach
Joe Burnett, CEO of ClearPoint Neuro and resident of Rancho Santa Fe, recently moved his company headquarters from Orange County to Solana Beach. The company is focused on improving the quality of life for patients with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and rare childhood genetic diseases.
The ClearPoint Neuro System is a unique surgical platform that provides real-time MRI guidance for a range of minimally invasive brain procedures. Applications of ClearPoint’s products include deep brain stimulation, laser ablation, biopsy, neurosuction, and delivery of drugs, biologics and gene therapy to the brain.
A father of six, Burnett has lived in San Diego for 15 years, the last five in Rancho Santa Fe. Originally from the East Coast, he received his Biomedical Engineering degree and MBA from Duke University and worked in the field. medical devices throughout his career, mainly in cardiology before moving on to neurosurgery.
In 2017, he was named the new President and CEO of ClearPoint, then called MRI Interventions, to help lead the next phase of growth. At the time, the company was smaller and focused on navigation in neurosurgery. Burnett said he worked tirelessly to make his product a more therapy-friendly tool.
In February 2021, ClearPoint was listed on the NASDAQ and raised $ 50 million in its first offering. “(The company) is in the strongest place it’s ever been,” Burnett said.
The ClearPoint System is designed as an alternative to procedures that have traditionally used stereotaxic methodology, in which the patient is awake for most or all of the procedure to monitor responses.
“A lot of patients are afraid of having neurosurgery and being awake,” Burnett said. “The system is MRI compatible so the patient can fall asleep, allowing the surgeon to see exactly what is happening with the MRI.
Currently, the system is installed at 60 clinical sites nationwide, including UC San Diego. Burnett said the goal is to build centers of excellence for neurosurgery, provide better patient care and outcomes, and enable doctors to treat more patients.
“What excites us the most is gene therapy and the delivery of stem cells,” Burnett said of the company’s MRI-guided drug delivery device that can inject drugs into the brain for treat conditions like ALS, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The company has partnered with more than 20 biologics and pharmaceutical companies and is in various stages of regulatory research and testing.
ClearPoint’s new home in Solana Beach is located in the Brixton Building on South Sierra Avenue, across from Fletcher Cove. In addition to the ocean view, Burnett said the move to Solana Beach allowed them to attract top local San Diego talent and being right next to the station was a plus for commuters.
Manufacturing will remain in Orange County and Solana Beach will serve as the corporate headquarters in addition to a training surgery suite where they plan to bring in surgeons from around the world to teach them how to use the ClearPoint system.
The Solana Beach headquarters will have around 20 employees and plans to double in the coming months. After this pandemic year, Burnett said staff were eager to return to a traditional work environment, motivate each other and generate ideas: “The speed of innovation demands that people be close to each other and connected, ”he said.
Burnett is also looking forward to connecting through community outreach at Solana Beach, to share with patients with essential tremors, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy the types of treatment options available.
“Solana Beach continues to thrive by providing an unparalleled quality of life with a small town feel that is friendly and welcoming to residents and businesses,” said Jewel Edson, Solana Beach City Council member. “The City of Solana Beach strives to work as a partner to support our established businesses and attract new businesses to our city. We are delighted to welcome the head office and training services of ClearPoint Neuro, Inc. to Solana Beach.
For more information visit https://www.clearpointneuro.com/