World Heart Corporation (WorldHeart) announced on July 29th, 2011 that it shall no longer pursue commercialization of their Levacor Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) technology and will focus on a smaller, new-generation MiFlow VAD. WorldHeart’s investor page notes that with continued delay of their Bridge-To-Transplant Study and associated device refinements they no longer see Levacor as a commercially competitive product. The Levacor VAD, a centrifugal pump that is completely magnetically levitated unlike other assist devices with mechanical or blood-lubricated bearings, is designed for adults with late-stage heart failure as a bridge to transplant.
The company plans to focus on next generation technology such as the MiFlow VAD, a device designed to provide cardiac output flow up to 6L/min. Its small size is possible secondary to the company’s proprietary Mag-Lev technology. The MiFlow VAD is also a fully magnetically levitated rotational blood pump. The company is currently working on a prototype with animal studies expected by mid-2012 and human clinical trials in Europe by 2013.
The MiFlow VAD is aimed at providing partial and full long-term circulatory support in adults with earlier (Class III) as well as more advanced heart failure (Class IV). WorldHeart will continue to provide technical support to patients and clinical centers currently using Levacor.
Device info page: MiFlow VAD …