World's fourth AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart procedure performed at UCLA Medical Center; first on the west coast

October 18, 2001

UCLA Medical Center and Abiomed Inc. have announced that the principal investigators of the Los Angeles-based AbioCor clinical and research teams -- cardiothoracic surgeons Drs. Hillel Laks and Daniel Marell and cardiologist Dr. Jaime Moriguchi -- performed the world's fourth implantation of Abiomed Inc.'s AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart Oct. 17 in an 11-hour procedure at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, Calif. The patient, a man in his 70s, is resting comfortably.

"The operation went exceptionally well and the artificial heart is functioning beautifully," said Laks, professor and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UCLA's School of Medicine and director of UCLA's Heart, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program, and the principal investigator for the UCLA Total Artificial Heart Program.

Consistent with the previously announced "quiet period" policy, additional information will be made available at a later date to be determined by the medical team. Additional information will not be released prior to this time and no UCLA doctors or medical staff are available for interviews at this time.

UCLA Medical Center is one of five national sites participating in the Abiomed artificial heart transplant trial studies. The first two procedures were performed at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., on July 2 and Sept. 13. The third implant took place at Texas Heart Institute and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston on Sept. 26.
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UCLA Medical Center's Heart Transplant Program is one of the largest in the world, having performed more than 1,100 heart transplants since the program began in 1984. Patients receiving heart transplants at UCLA range in age from two weeks to 72 years of age. UCLA is one of the few programs in the United States to have performed more than 1,000 heart transplants.

In 1992 Laks founded The UCLA Alternate Recipient Heart Transplant Program. The alternate recipient list allows certain patients who would otherwise not be listed for a transplant -- usually due to age -- to receive hearts that would not normally be used. Laks was the first U.S. cardiac surgeon to perform bypass surgery on a donor heart prior to transplantation.

Based in Danvers, Mass., Abiomed Inc. is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical products designed to assist or replace the pumping function of the failing heart. The company's first-generation AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart is ready for implantation in selected patients as part of an initial clinical trial conducted under an Investigational Device Exemption from the United States Food and Drug Administration. The AbioCor has not been approved for commercial distribution, and is not available for use or sale outside of the initial clinical trial.

Abiomed currently manufactures and sells the BVS, a heart-assist device for the temporary support of all patients with failing but potentially recoverable hearts.

University of California - Los Angeles

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