Healthcare Industry News:  rotary ventricular assist device 

Devices Cardiology

 News Release - April 18, 2006

First Patient Recovering Well With WorldHeart's Next-Generation Rotary VAD

Support Ongoing Six Weeks Post-Implant Patient Taking Excursions Outside the Hospital

OAKLAND, Calif., April 18 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- World Heart Corporation (Nasdaq: WHRT ; TSX: WHT ; WorldHeart), a global technology leader in mechanical circulatory support systems, announced today that the first human implanted with its advanced rotary ventricular assist device (VAD) continues to do well after six weeks of support on the device.

First WorldHeart Rotary VAD Patient Status

The first patient in the feasibility clinical trial of WorldHeart's next-generation rotary VAD, who received the device on March 8, 2006, has started excursions outside the hospital while supported with the VAD. "The surgical and clinical team at St. Luke's is extremely pleased to see the first patient doing so well," said Dr. Antonis Pitsis, cardiac surgeon and Director of the Thessaloniki Heart Institute at St. Luke's Hospital, and principal clinical investigator of the feasibility trial. "The WorldHeart Rotary VAD has performed well, meeting all of our expectations to date. The patient has been mobile for the last four weeks, is now exercising regularly by walking indoors and outdoors and climbing stairs, and is enjoying interacting with his family. He has also been outside the hospital to have meals with his family at a local restaurant."

Jal S. Jassawalla, WorldHeart's President and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased with the ongoing success of the first clinical use of our advanced rotary system, and expect to expand our feasibility trial as planned throughout 2006. St. Luke's Hospital also recently completed training for the Novacor LVAS, a testimony of their commitment to the field of mechanical circulatory support and to building their LVAD program."

WorldHeart Rotary VAD

The WorldHeart Rotary VAD is the only bearingless, fully magnetically levitated implantable centrifugal rotary pump in clinical trials. It is an advanced, next-generation, continuous flow pump that uses magnetic levitation to fully suspend the spinning rotor, its only moving part, inside a compact housing. The pump's proprietary levitation technology employs a combination of passive magnetic suspension and single-axis active control, which is expected to provide optimal system simplicity and reliability.

Unlike most rotary pumps currently in clinical trials, it does not rely on either a mechanical bearing or a film of blood (blood bearing) to support the rotor. Relative to pumps with blood or mechanical bearings, full magnetic levitation eliminates wear mechanisms within the pump and is expected to provide improved blood compatibility by allowing greater clearances and more favorable, obstruction-free, blood flow around the rotor.

About WorldHeart

WorldHeart is a global technology leader in mechanical circulatory support systems, dedicated to working with physicians to provide reliable, long-term mechanical circulatory support products and services to the broadest patient population through technology, leadership and innovation. The company is headquartered in Oakland, California, with additional facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah and in Heesch, Netherlands. WorldHeart's registered office is Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Any forward-looking statements in this release including those about planned clinical studies and breadth of the company's product platform are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, including without limitation: risks in product development and market acceptance of and demand for the Company's products; possible delays in successfully completing preclinical testing and planned clinical trials; possibility of unsuccessful results in initial and subsequent feasibility studies with the rotary VAD and other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2005.

Source: WorldHeart

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