ANDOVER, Mass., March 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- TransMedics announces that the use of its OCS™ Heart technology has enabled a groundbreaking European first by the team at Papworth Hospital to preserve and assess a heart from a new group of potential donors known as non-heart beating donors (NHBD). The patient is reported as having made a swift recovery and is at home with his family.
This achievement represents a major milestone in heart transplantation in Europe, building on the successful series of non-beating heart transplantations carried out last year at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney also using the OCS™ Heart system. Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Stephen Large carried out the transplant. He believes the use of the OCS system could have hugely positive implications for reducing numbers of patients on the NHS waiting list for a donor heart. Mr. Large says: "Significant research has gone into finding new, safe ways to increase the number of lives we save using heart transplantation. The use of this form of transplantation could increase heart transplantation by up to 25% in the UK."
This heart was retrieved from a donor whose heart had stopped beating in the body. Currently, non-heart beating donors are not considered for heart transplantation due to the limitations of the cold storage preservation technique, which is routinely used in the UK. The heart used for the Papworth patient was retrieved, resuscitated to a beating state and clinically assessed using the TransMedics OCS™ Heart technology.
Mr. Steven Tsui, Clinical Director of Transplantation at Papworth, says: "We are delighted by our patient's progress following his heart transplantation using this new technique. His swift recovery is testament to the comprehensive research carried out at Papworth. We are hopeful that this procedure will, in the future, enable more hearts to be available to the many patients on the transplant waiting list."
The ability to safely transplant a donor heart from non-heart beating donors could be a paradigm shift to potentially increase the pool of viable donor hearts to help more patients suffering from end-stage heart failure, says Dr. Waleed Hassanein, President and CEO of TransMedics, Inc. "We are dedicated to expanding the use of donor organs to result in successful transplantation using our breakthrough OCS™ platform and are actively engaged in 4 large pivotal trials for hearts, lungs and livers in the U.S. to bring the revolutionary OCS™ technology to the U.S. market hopefully very soon."
What is the TransMedics Organ Care System (OCS™)?
Since the advent of organ transplantation, the cornerstone of organ preservation has been cold ischemic storage (placing organs on ice). Although this method is intended to reduce the extent of organ damage during transport, significant deterioration of the donated organ still occurs. The longer the organ is kept on ice, the greater the damage. Moreover, the cold storage technique does not enable any resuscitative or assessment while the organ is being transported from donor to recipient. Given the limitations of cold storage, it is estimated that globally 60-65% of donor hearts cannot ultimately be used for transplantation.
TransMedics has developed the world's only portable medical device capable of overcoming the limitations of cold storage for multiple organ transplantation. The OCS™ technology was designed to provide a comprehensive solution to all three key limitations of the cold storage technique, as it:
- Minimizes cold ischemia injury by perfusing the heart with warm oxygenated blood;
- Optimizes the condition of the organ by replenishing oxygen, nutrients, and hormones that would otherwise become depleted;
- Provides continuous monitoring and assessment of the organ until the point of transplantation
These unique capabilities of the OCS technology have the potential to:
- Increase utilization of current donor organs
- Improve patient survival
- Reduce post-transplant complications
- Improve cost-effectiveness of the transplant procedure
About TransMedics, Inc.
TransMedics Inc. is the world's leader in portable ex-vivo machine perfusion and assessment of donor organs for transplantation. Headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, the company was founded to address the unmet need for more and better organs for transplantation. For more information, please visit www.TransMedics.com.
SOURCE TransMedics, Inc.