BeneChill said that RhinoChill can be administered quickly and directly to the brain by a portable system that uses a nasal catheter to deliver a rapid evaporative coolant and will be marketed in Europe next year.

Mr Raffensperger, with more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and diagnostic industries, has joined BeneChill from his post as executive director and franchise head of nephrology for Amgen. He joined Amgen in 2005 as general manager of the Nordic and Baltic Region, overseeing operations in eight countries from his Sweden base.

Prior to Amgen, Mr Raffensperger was with Hoffman La Roche for 10 years with his most recent position as head of pharmaceutical marketing and sales for Roche in Sweden.

Previously, he was the CEO for Swedemed, a privately-held developer of an advanced ultrasonic surgery system. He began his career with Pharmacia, first in sales in the US and then product management in Sweden.

BeneChill said that earlier in his career, Mr Raffensperger was a paramedic for National Hospital in Arlington and his experience in cardiovascular and trauma emergency care provides a solid foundation for understanding the need for BeneChill’s cooling devices in the field.

Denise Barbut, executive chair and founder of BeneChill, said: “As we prepare to launch our lead RhinoChill product in Europe, it was critical that we recruit a seasoned, well-rounded CEO with big pharma experience and the sensitivity to a smaller company. Alan’s stellar track record and experience in product development, sales and marketing will enable us to achieve our business goals.”