"The SAPIEN 3 valve sets a new standard for transcatheter heart valve performance and patient outcomes," said Martin B. Leon, MD, director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and professor of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"We have seen some of the best results to date from the PARTNER II Trial in treating high-risk patients with the SAPIEN 3 valve. The PARTNER II study concluded that this new valve reduced several complications associated with the TAVR procedure such as paravalvular leakage and stroke, and represented a meaningful improvement over data from prior studies with earlier-generation devices," Leon said.

Dr. Leon was the co-principal investigator for the PARTNER II Trial. SAPIEN 3 approval was based on a cohort of the PARTNER II Trial, which enrolled 583 high-risk patients at 29 U.S. sites.

The SAPIEN 3 valve builds on Edwards’ decades of experience in the development of tissue heart valves, and the proven benefits of the Edwards SAPIEN valves. The new valve, available in 20mm, 23mm, 26mm and 29mm sizes, has an outer skirt – a cuff of fabric surrounding the valve frame – providing a seal to address paravalvular leak.

"U.S. physicians have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the Edwards SAPIEN 3 valve since it became available in Europe last year, and we appreciate the FDA’s timely and thoughtful review in making this device available to American patients," said Larry L. Wood, Edwards’ corporate vice president, transcatheter heart valves.

Given the earlier-than-anticipated FDA approval of SAPIEN 3, the company is ramping up supply and expects the launch to be largely completed by the end of the year.

The SAPIEN 3 valve has been commercially available in Europe since January 2014. The SAPIEN family of valves has been used in the treatment of more than 100,000 patients globally.