Harpoon Medical has enrolled the initial three patients in an early feasibility study of its repair system for the minimally invasive, beating-heart treatment of mitral valve regurgitation. The initial first-in-human procedures were performed at the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantology, Jagiellonian University John Paul II Hospital, Poland, by the team of Krzysztof Bartus, Jerzy Sadowski, Boguslaw Kapelak, James Gammie, and Andrzej Gackowski.
Harpoon also announced that it has won the top award in Life Sciences for the “2015InvestMaryland” international business competition for start-up and early-stage companies. A cash prize of US$100,000 was presented to Harpoon Medical chief executive officer Bill Niland at a recent award ceremony in Baltimore, USA. The competition was sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), and there were 200 competitors across four categories.
“While our ultimate goal is to demonstrate long-term durability of the Harpoon system, the fact is that major problems are most likely to occur in the first 30 to 60 days, and therefore we are extremely pleased by the strong clinical results to date with the initial three patients,” said James Gammie, founder of Harpoon Medical and Chief of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA.
“Unlike the aortic valve, where 90% of patients suffer from aortic stenosis and replacement is the preferred treatment option over open surgery, mitral valve disease has multiple etiologies, and repair is preferred over replacement to treat primary mitral valve regurgitation,” added Gammie. “Only about 20% of patients who could benefit get open heart surgery for mitral valve regurgitation. For the remaining 80%, there is a compelling need for less-invasive mitral repair technologies. Our system is designed to change this unacceptable situation for patients suffering from mitral valve regurgitation.”
“The Harpoon system worked as expected,” added Bill Niland, chief executive officer of Harpoon Medical. “The investigator was able to quickly and easily navigate to the desired location and deploy the Harpoon system’s neochords, which are designed to be easy to deliver and secured by a superior anchoring approach. We are very pleased with our clinical results thus far.”
“We are also extremely pleased to be recognised by the Maryland DBED as ‘a company to watch’,” Niland said.