As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeffrey Kraws, President of Ra Medical. Jeffrey J. Kraws has served as the President of Ra Medical since August 2016. Since 2003, Mr. Kraws has served as Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Crystal Research Associates and CRA Advisors. Mr. Kraws is a partner at Grannus Securities Pty Ltd. (an Australian based private equity fund) since November 2015. Prior to founding Crystal Research Associates, Mr. Kraws served as co-president of The Investor Relations Group (IRG), a firm representing primarily under-followed, small-capitalization companies. Previously, Mr. Kraws served as a managing director of healthcare research for Ryan Beck & Co. and as director of research/senior pharmaceutical analyst and managing director at Gruntal & Co., LLC (prior to its merger with Ryan Beck & Company). Mr. Kraws served as managing director of the healthcare research group and senior pharmaceutical analyst at First Union Securities (formerly EVEREN Securities); as senior U.S. pharmaceutical analyst for the Swedish-Swiss conglomerate Asea Brown Boveri; and as managing director and president of the Brokerage/Investment Banking operation of ABB Aros Securities, Inc. He also served as senior pharmaceutical analyst at Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities, BT Alex Brown & Sons, and Buckingham Research. Mr. Kraws also served in the treasury group at Bristol-Myers-Squibb Company. Mr. Kraws serves on the board of directors of Avivagen (TSX:VIV), Saleen Automotive, Inc. (OTC: SLNN), and is Chairman of the Board of Synthetic Biologics (NYSE:SYN). Mr. Kraws holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BS degree from State University of New York, Buffalo.
Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?
More than 200 million people worldwide suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a common circulatory problem in which plaque builds up in the arteries and reduces blood flow, causing severe pain and cramping in the lower extremities. PAD is the leading cause of leg amputation in the U.S., and for too long, patients haven’t had access to effective, economically viable alternatives, a situation that needed to change. As a result, Ra Medical Systems developed a minimally-invasive excimer laser called DABRA. DABRA is a tool used by physicians that reduces plaque into their fundamental chemistry, such as proteins, lipids, and other chemical compounds, eliminating blockages by essentially photo-ablating them without generating potentially harmful particulates, and allowing for a less painful procedure and quicker recovery time for the patient. Most importantly, it restores blood flow, and in many cases it directly avoids the need for amputation.
How do you think this will change the world?
Peripheral Artery Disease is responsible for approximately 240,000 amputations every year and nearly one-quarter of these patients die within 30 days, and almost half within a year of their amputation. Now, thanks to DABRA, which is a quick, less painful procedure performed in an outpatient setting, these patients have new hope for retaining their legs and their lives.
What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?
Often, Peripheral Artery Disease is misdiagnosed, leaving patients with worsening symptoms. In order for DABRA to truly change the world, there must be greater awareness of PAD among patients and physicians. There are certain common attributes — such as diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol — that many patients with PAD possess, and it is critical that general physicians are aware of these commonalities in order to correctly diagnose the patient. In addition, there needs to be a greater awareness of what alternative treatments are available for PAD for both patients and physicians.
The future of work is a common theme. What can one do to “future proof” their career?
Look for problems within the marketplace and find a solution. If there is already a solution, find a better, safer and more efficient solution. Don’t be afraid of change. It’s important to remember that problems and solutions consistently change, and as a result, you must continue to adapt and grow.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?
Outworking your competition. You can’t always guarantee that you will be smarter than the competition, but be sure to stay disciplined, stay focused, trust your gut and always strive to work harder than your competition. Everyone gets 24 hours a day, but it’s up to you to choose how you spend them. I spend my 24 hours consistently learning and always striving to be better.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.