Healthcare Industry News: Rotary VAD
News Release - June 4, 2007
WorldHeart Celebrates 1 Year of Sustained Recovery of First Levacor(TM) VAD Patient2nd Levacor patient also recovered and leading normal life at home
OAKLAND, Calif., June 4 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- World Heart Corporation (Nasdaq: WHRTD, TSX: WHT), a developer of mechanical circulatory support systems, celebrates the first explant anniversary of the first Levacor VAD patient. This 67-year-old man is enjoying an excellent quality of life after 85 days of VAD support enabled his heart to regain its function (Bridge-to-Recovery).
The second Levacor patient's course mirrors the first and he is doing well nine months after device explant. Dr. Antonis Pitsis, cardiovascular surgeon, Director of the Thessaloniki Heart Institute, and Principal Investigator of the Levacor clinical feasibility trial said that: "These patients' recovery of natural heart function while supported by the Levacor VAD has been remarkable. This device, with its wide range of operation, supported our protocols for recovery of the natural left ventricle extremely well. Most important is the high quality of life achieved by recovery."
Dr. James Long, a leader in the mechanical circulatory support field, participated in the clinical training and implantation of the Levacor VAD in Thessaloniki. He remarked that: "The initial success of this device is an exciting achievement and illustrates its capacity to support recovery of the failing natural heart. The U.S. Clinical Trial Committee and our clinical colleagues are looking forward to introducing this technology to American heart failure patients via an upcoming clinical trial."
Mr. Jal Jassawalla, WorldHeart President and CEO, commented that, "We are pleased to have demonstrated the capability of the Levacor VAD. Based on the unique device design and the initial clinical experience in Greece, we anticipate that the upcoming U.S. trial will demonstrate the clinical benefits of this advanced technology."
About the Levacor VAD
The Levacor is a next-generation Rotary VAD. It is the only bearingless, fully magnetically levitated implantable centrifugal rotary pump with clinical experience. An advanced, continuous-flow pump, the Levacor uses magnetic levitation to fully suspend the spinning rotor, its only moving part, inside a compact housing. The proprietary levitation technology employs a unique arrangement of magnetics expected to provide optimal system simplicity and reliability. In contrast to pumps with blood-immersed mechanical or hydrodynamic bearings, full magnetic levitation eliminates wear within the pump as well as dependence on blood properties for rotor suspension, and is expected to provide improved blood compatibility by allowing greater clearances around the rotor and more idealized flow patterns across a wider range of operation. The Levacor VAD has been designed with a high safety profile and robust range of operation to address the needs of current and future heart failure patients.
WorldHeart is a developer of mechanical circulatory support systems with leading next-generation technologies. The Company is headquartered in Oakland, California, USA with additional facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah and The Netherlands. WorldHeart's registered office is Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Any forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and include statements regarding the Company's expectations with respect to the Company's future development plans for its next-generation Levacor VAD, including the timing and scope of clinical trials, as well as, other statements that can be identified by the use of forward-looking language, such as "believes," "feels," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "plans," "anticipates," or "intends" or the negative of those terms, or by discussions of strategy or intentions. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, including without limitation: delays in development, preclinical qualification and regulatory approvals of the Levacor VAD; costs and delays associated with clinical trials; slower Destination Therapy adoption rate for VADs; need for additional financing; and other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2006, as amended.
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