The European Union granted CE Mark approval for a mitral valve repair system by NeoChord, a medical device manufacturer based in Minnesota. According to a press release by the company, the DS1000 Mitral Valve Repair system can be used to implant artificial chordae tendinae.
Chordae tendinae are thin, threaded tissues that help anchor leaflets found in the mitral valve to the heart muscle. With the device, surgeons can repair a mitral valve prolapse through an off-pump, transapical operation. In its press release, the company also stated that its Transapical Artificial Chordae Tendinae registry had been started with an initial 50 patients. The first commercial procedure with the device is expected in the first quarter of 2013.
Dr. Giovanni Speziali is the primary inventor of NeoChord’s new mitral valve repair system. In prepared remarks, he said, "Receiving CE marking for the NeoChord device ... and beginning the TACT Registry are meaningful steps forward in the treatment of patients with severe mitral regurgitation." He continued, "The NeoChord procedure allows patients an alternative to still undergo a quality repair without enduring the rigors of traditional treatment via open-chest surgery performed on a stopped heart."
In January of 2011, NeoChord was able to successfully raise $1 million to pursue commercialization of its products. By August of 2011, it had raised almost half of its $11 million goal.