Isaac George named co-principal investigator of pivotal trial of Direct Flow Medical’s Transcatheter Heart Valve System


Direct Flow Medical has named Isaac George, surgical director of transcatheter therapies for the Columbia Heart Valve Center at the Columbia University Medical Center, as co-principal investigator of the US SALUS pivotal trial studying the company’s Transcatheter Heart Valve System. George joins co-principal investigator Murat Tuzcu, vice chairman of the department of cardiology for the Cleveland Clinic, in leading the trial.

George is also currently director of hybrid coronary interventions and an assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, where he has performed more than 1,500 open heart surgeries and valve procedures. He joined New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in the Department of Surgery as a resident in general surgery following his graduation from Duke University School of Medicine. While at Columbia, he completed fellowship programmes in cardiothoracic surgery and interventional cardiology/hybrid cardiac surgery. George is heavily involved in both benchtop and clinical research relating to transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), heart failure and other heart disease, and possesses a special interest in cutting-edge medical technology.


“I am passionate about integrating new technologies and innovation, such as TAVR, into clinical practice in order to enhance patient care,” said George. “The Direct Flow Medical technology has demonstrated excellent outcomes in both clinical study and commercial settings to-date, and I am enthusiastic about leading the definitive study of its efficacy in the USA, in partnership with Tuzcu.”

The trial is a prospective, randomised, multicentre, core lab adjudicated US clinical trial, evaluating the Direct Flow Medical Transcatheter Aortic Valve System. The primary endpoint of the trial is a composite of all-cause mortality and disabling stroke at 12 months.

Direct Flow Medical recently received investigational device exemption approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to broaden the SALUS trial. The expansion of the trial includes the addition of high risk surgical patients; 2:1 randomisation against a commercial device—the Medtronic CoreValve; a 912-subject pivotal cohort treated at up to 45 US sites; and registries for non-femoral access points and bicuspid valves.

“I look forward to working with George as we expand the SALUS trial,” said Tuzcu. “His surgical expertise, combined with his interest in hybrid and cutting-edge treatments, such as TAVR, will be invaluable as we partner with Heart Teams around the country to explore this next-generation Direct Flow Medical technology.”

“We would like to thank Patrick McCarthy of Northwestern for his earlier leadership efforts representing the surgical perspective within the trial,” said Daniel Lemaitre, Direct Flow Medical chief executive officer. “We look forward to this next phase of the trial and fully expect our technology to demonstrate the same outstanding performance in new patient populations and in a broader setting.”