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Q’Apel Medical is a medical device company developing best-in-class technology and commercializing novel catheter technology for neurovascular interventions. Formed in 2015 by entrepreneur James Dreher and catheter design engineer Jeff Krolik, Q’Apel’s novel catheters are designed to provide superior access in endovascular treatment of stroke and cerebral aneurysms. Our name is inspired by the Qu’Appelle River that winds through Saskatchewan, Canada, highly tortuous in some areas and straight in others. Q’Apel catheters deliver better trackability in navigating highly tortuous neurovasculature while also efficiently delivering therapeutic thrombectomy and cerebral aneurysm devices.

With a main focus on developing novel catheter technology, Q’Apel strives to improve both clinical and patient outcomes and provide enhanced workflow efficiencies and improved economics for providers. With their unique mechanical properties, Q’Apel catheters are designed to bring cost reduction and time savings by reducing the number of catheters required.

Q’Apel’s first products, Walrus Balloon Guide Catheter (BGC) and Wahoo Control Catheter, are both FDA cleared and support the company’s mission to break barriers and reach new heights in the neurovascular space.

Meet Our Team

Our team is comprised of industry leaders who are intent on bringing to market customer driven products. We pride ourselves on our ability to re-imagine an existing product type to add meaningful benefits or adapting products as our customers define new ways to improve patient care.

R. King Nelson

Chief Executive Officer


King is a seasoned industry professional bringing more than 35 years of leadership experience and expertise with medical devices. King currently serves as Director of CardieX, Regenisis Biomedical and Miracles for Kids and was previously President and CEO of Uptake Medical Corporation, a company focused on treatments for emphysema and lung cancer. Prior to that, King served in the cardiovascular space, as president and CEO of Kerberos Proximal Solutions (acquired by FoxHollow Technologies) and as president and CEO of VenPro (acquired by Medtronic). King’s early years in the medical industry were spent at Baxter International and American Hospital Supply Corporation. King holds a Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Miami School of Business.

Jeff Krolik

Chief Technology Officer


Jeff Krolik is a medical device entrepreneur with over 21 years of experience developing innovative devices. Before joining Q’Apel he served as Vice President of Engineering at Hotspur Technologies, where he led the development of the GPSCath PTCA catheter which was sold to Teleflex medical in July 2012. Prior to that, Jeff served as Vice President of Research and Development at SquareOne, Inc. where he led the development of the BOSS Ostial Stent System from inception through its first human clinical use. Jeff also served as the lead engineer on the FilterWire EXTM Embolic Protection System for Embolic Protection Inc., later acquired by Boston Scientific. Jeff is an inventor on 54 issued US patents and holds a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from San Jose State University.

Ken Peartree

Chief Operating Officer


Ken Peartree is a seasoned product development and Operations executive who has been bringing innovative new medical technologies to market for the past 20 years. He is an author on numerous patents and has introduced products in a range of surgical specialties including general surgery, vascular surgery, urology and ophthalmology. In 2011 Ken founded Ocunetics, Inc. and sold its technology to Iridex Corp where he remained as VP of R&D until 2015. Ken’s previous experience includes Axiom Technology Partners, acquired by Teleflex in 2012, as well as General Surgical Innovations, Inc., acquired by Tyco Healthcare. Ken graduated from UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering and holds an MBA from the Columbia Business School in New York.

Sara Thompson

Director of Commercialization


Sara is an accomplished executive who brings a proven track record of over 25 years of experience driving sales growth in the medical device industry both with startups and Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining Q'Apel Medical Sara was Co-Founder and CEO of FavorHealth, a digital healthcare company focused on streamlining perioperative care. Before that Sara spent 7 years at Penumbra, Inc. and played an instrumental role bringing Penumbra from an early stage startup to a successful public Healthcare Company. Before advancing into corporate roles, Sara spent 15 years as a top performing medical device consultant, working for Stryker, Kyphon/Medtronic, and Dentsply. She has extensive experience bringing disruptive technologies to market from concept to commercialization in the healthcare industry.