The Implantable Artificial Heart Project
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The AbioCor Replacement Heart
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Laman A. Gray, Jr., M.D.
Robert D. Dowling, M.D.

News Releases

May 11, 1998
Linda McGinity Jackson,
Kathy Keadle,
Tess Donovan, Brodeur Worldwide for ABIOMED: 617-587-2981

Totally Implantable Heart Replacement Device in Advanced Stages of Development
Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville partner with ABIOMED, Inc in battery-powered heart research.

(LOUISVILLE) -- A select group of five U.S. medical centers have reached an agreement to begin efforts to demonstrate device and team readiness of ABIOMED's totally implantable heart replacement device in preparation for clinical trials. The Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute, in conjunction with the University of Louisville Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, will participate in the final stages of research to prepare for clinical implantation of ABIOMED's battery-powered heart replacement device.

Under the agreement, a Jewish Hospital project team, led by Laman A. Gray, Jr., MD and Robert D. Dowling, MD, of Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, will work with ABIOMED to prepare for clinical trials of their replacement heart.

Jewish Hospital joins such prestigious institutions as Texas Heart Institute, UCLA and Massachusetts General / Brigham and Women's Hospital in these final stages of ABIOMED's replacement heart development.

Over 4,000 people are waiting for heart transplants nationally, and there are tens of thousands of additional critically ill patients whose condition makes them unsuitable for heart transplant. This technology could be the next critical step in saving patients with end-stage heart disease. "Our current artificial heart devices [Ventricular Assist Devices or VADs] help sustain and improve the quality of life while the patient awaits a transplant," Dr. Gray explains. "The ABIOMED heart replacement device will be a permanent solution for these patients - ending their agonizing waiting game."

The replacement heart is totally implanted and is designed to replace the full pumping function of the human heart. It is uniquely designed for use by patients with irreparable damaged hearts and at risk of death due to acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), chronic ischemic disease or other forms of end-stage heart failure. It is estimated that such a device could save the lives of over 60,000 people per year in the United States alone.

"The Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute is proud to once again be a part of ground breaking research which will impact the patients of this region and around the world," explained Henry C. Wagner, President and CEO of Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services. "Our commitment to this type of research is unparalleled, as evidenced by our long relationship with the University of Louisville and our building of the only free-standing privately-funded heart research center in the country."

This research has been made possible, in part, by the Jewish Hospital Foundation.
Dr. Laman Gray is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of minimally invasive surgery and development of artificial hearts. Dr. Gray's outstanding accomplishments include performing the first heart transplant in Kentucky (1984) and the first clinical use of ABIOMED's SupraCor® IABP (1992). He was also one of the four primary clinical investigators that brought ABIOMED's BVS-5000® temporary cardiac support system to clinical approval by the FDA (1992). He has been the Director of the University of Louisville School of Medicine's Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery for more than 20 years and is a founding member of the Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute.

Dr. Robert Dowling was named Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Louisville after receiving his training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Dowling performed the first double-lung transplant (1995) and the first ventricular remodeling (1996) in Kentucky. Dr. Dowling is Director of the Jewish Hospital / University of Louisville Lung Transplant Program and Director of the Kosair Children's Hospital Heart Transplant Program.

Based in Danvers, Massachusetts, ABIOMED, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets innovative cardiovascular, medical and dental products and is a technology leader in the research and development of advanced artificial heart systems.

Jewish Hospital is the eighth largest heart hospital in the United States and, along with the University of Louisville, is dedicated to excellence in clinical care, research and education. Jewish Hospital is one of only a few facilities in the world offering a complete range of surgical treatments for end-stage heart failure, including transplantation, ventricular assist devices, cardiomyoplasty and ventricular remodeling.


©2001 Jewish Hospital, University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, ABIOMED, Inc.
Jewish Hospital University of Louisville Health Sciences Center