November 21st, 2012

HeartWare LVAD Approved By FDA For Transplant Patients

The FDA said today that it had granted approval to the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System for use in heart failure patients waiting for a transplant. Approval of the device had been expected after the FDA’s Circulatory System Devices panel recommended approval of the device earlier this year.

HeartWare was approved based on data from the pivotal ADVANCE trial, in which 140 patients received the Heartware device and were compared to historical controls who had received Thoratec’s HeartMate II device. The FDA said this was the first time it had approved an LVAD using registry data as a control. Unlike Thoratec’s HeartMate II VAS, which is surgically implanted in an abdominal pouch, the HeartWare VAS is implanted next to the heart.

The FDA said that surgical outcomes were comparable in the two groups. Because of the risk of stroke associated with the device, the FDA said patients and clinicians should “discuss all treatment options before deciding to use the device.”

HeartWare said that the FDA was requiring the company to perform a post-approval study in the form of  a registry consisting of 600 HeartWare patients  and an additional 600 control patients. The FDA will also require sites that implant the device to undergo training with an approved program.

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