Heart Valve Technology Designated for Innovation Competition

Sept. 9, 2018 - OArash Kheradvarne of Arash Kheradvar’s recent heart valve technologies has been selected to compete in the Shark Tank Innovation Competition at the 2018 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in San Diego later this month.  Kheradvar’s bioinspired transcatheter mitral valve replacement system, named AValve, is one of seven interventional innovations chosen from approximately 50 entries. 

Kheradvar, a Samueli School biomedical engineering professor and medical doctor, is excited that the AValve will be presented at the world’s largest educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine. The TCT draws attendees from around the world.

Judging is based on six criteria including unmet clinical need, out-of-the-box concept, intellectual property position and viability, biological proof of concept, clear regulatory pathway and commercialization potential.  

Mitral valve replacement is more complex than aortic valve replacement, due to the valve’s shape and dynamic motion and function. The AValve has a unique advanced anchoring system that allows the surgeon to reposition or fully retrieve it as needed. This past spring, a UCI-led team successfully implanted and tested the AValve in an animal model.

Mitral valve disease is a worldwide problem. In North America alone, an estimated 4.1 million people suffer from moderate to severe mitral regurgitation. According to Kheradvar, there is no transcatheter mitral valve replacement technology that has been approved for use in humans.

Despite the fact that open-heart surgery is the gold standard treatment for severe mitral valve disease, it is believed that about half of these patients are denied surgery or not referred for potentially curative intervention, because of their age, presence of additional diseases, or heart failure. 

“Transcatheter mitral valve replacement provides a less invasive option for a large proportion of patients with mitral valve disease,” said Kheradvar.

Mohammad Sarraf, an interventional cardiologist from the University of Alabama in Birmingham who was part of Kheradvar’s implantation and testing team, will present the AValve at the competition Sept. 22.

– Lori Brandt