FDA approves HeartWare Ventricular Assist System to treat end-stage heart failure

Published on November 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM · No Comments

HeartWare International, Inc. (Nasdaq: HTWR; ASX: HIN), a leading innovator of less invasive, miniaturized circulatory support technologies that are revolutionizing the treatment of advanced heart failure, today announced that it has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the HeartWare® Ventricular Assist System as a bridge to heart transplantation in patients with end-stage heart failure.

The HeartWare® Ventricular Assist System features the HVAD® pump, a small full-support circulatory assist device (up to 10L/min flow) designed to be implanted next to the heart, avoiding the abdominal surgery generally required to implant competing devices.  The HVAD pump, with sintered inflow cannula, weighs approximately 5 ounces and displaces a volume of approximately 50 milliliters.  The HeartWare System is intended for use as a bridge to cardiac transplantation in patients who are at risk of death from refractory end-stage left ventricular heart failure.

The HeartWare System is currently the leading ventricular assist device implanted in patients outside of the United States, having received CE Marking in the European Union in 2009, and Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval in 2011.  Today, more than 2,500 advanced heart failure patients globally have received the HVAD® pump.

"FDA approval marks the culmination of an extensive clinical effort and represents an exciting advance in the treatment of late-stage heart failure patients," said Doug Godshall, President and Chief Executive Officer of HeartWare.  "We wish to extend our most sincere thanks to the patients, and to their families, for participating in the study of this innovative device, and we also are grateful to each of the nurses, coordinators, surgeons and cardiologists who provided care to those patients." 

Achieving long-standing goals
"I've had the opportunity to work on the HVAD® project since its conception over a decade ago.  The goal was to develop a miniaturized device with an integrated inflow cannula that could be placed within the pericardial sac, avoiding the necessity of creating a pump pocket with its attendant infection risks, as well as simplifying the surgical insertion," stated O.H. "Bud" Frazier, MD; Chief, Center for Cardiac Support; Director, Cardiovascular Surgery Research; and Co-Director, Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratories, at Texas Heart Institute and a global pioneer in mechanical circulatory support.  "A second goal was elimination of mechanical bearings to suspend the impeller, designed to enhance durability and blood handling characteristics.  Those of us who treat these challenging end-stage heart failure patients are fortunate to have this pericardial, wearless system available for our patients."

Commencing Commercialization
"Our team is positioned to commence the commercial rollout of the HeartWare System immediately, first facilitating broad use by the 50 U.S. hospitals that participated in our clinical studies, and then with training and expansion to additional U.S. hospitals," added Mr. Godshall.  "As always, HeartWare remains committed to enhancing outcomes for patients with end-stage heart failure and we will continue working to improve the overall clinical experience with the HVAD."

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