June 25, 2009

New artificial heart implanted in human

An official with Massachusetts headquartered Abiomed Inc. says the company's new artificial heart has been successfully implanted in a patient.

Abiomed chief executive Michael R. Minogue said the first commercial implantation of the AbioCor device took place at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., The Boston Globe said Thursday.

It's a great milestone for the company, Minogue said of the June 15 procedure.

The AbioCor was approved for commercial use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006, but transplants must be limited to patients unable to receive normal heart transplants.

Minogue said the AbioCor, whose earlier version was used in 14 transplant procedures as part of clinical trials, represents more of a technological advance by the company than a high revenue product.

It's a sign of our technology expertise. No other company makes a completely self-contained implantable artificial heart, he said of the product, which is made of titanium and plastic. "But what we're really focused on is heart recovery and helping people support the heart.''