Monday, March 28, 2011

Revolutionary alternative to heart transplant wins national UK award

Calon cardio heart Ca
Calon cardio heart pumpCpump

By Madeleine Brindley Wales Online
THE makers of a revolutionary heart pump, which could be an alternative to a transplant, have won a major award.

Calon Cardio-Technology Ltd, based at Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science, was presented with UK Trade and Investment’s best breakthrough technology award.

The company is developing new implantable pumps for the treatment of heart failure, which are cheaper than the current models available and do not require such invasive surgery to fit.

The award comes as Calon Cardio is hoping to secure £5m in funding to start acute and chronic trials of the device.

Calon Cardio was formed in 2007 and is a collaboration between Oxford artificial heart pioneer Professor Stephen Westaby and Wales-based Prof Marc Clement.

Prof Westaby, the firm’s medical director, said: “Heart failure is the commonest and most unpleasant mode of death affecting thousands of people in the UK.

“Last year there were just 90 heart transplants and so we are working towards producing a more realistic off-the-shelf alternative, which is a smaller and more affordable device implanted using less invasive surgery.

“Our aim is to relieve symptoms, prolong the life for patients with chronic heart failure and provide a rescue device for patients who are dying from heart attack.”

Prof Clement, who is also vice-chancellor of the University of Wales and an honorary professor at Swansea University’s College of Medicine, said: “This is a truly transformational product that could make a huge difference to our quality of life.”

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