Harpoon Medical, a medical device company focused on minimally invasive mitral valve repair, announced that it has enrolled the initial three patients in an early feasibility study of its repair system for the minimally invasive, beating-heart treatment of mitral valve regurgitation (MR).

The initial first-in-human procedures were performed at the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantology, Jagiellonian University John Paul II Hospital, by the team of Krzysztof Bartus, Jerzy Sadowski, Boguslaw Kapelak, James Gammie, and Andrzej Gackowski.

"While our ultimate goal is to demonstrate long-term durability of the Harpoon system, the fact is that major problems are most likely to occur in the first 30 to 60 days, and therefore we are extremely pleased by the strong clinical results to date with the initial three patients," said James Gammie, M.D., founder of Harpoon Medical and Chief of Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Harpoon also announced that it has won the top award in Life Sciences for the "2015InvestMaryland" international business competition for startup and early-stage companies. A cash prize of $100,000 was presented to Harpoon Medical CEO Bill Niland at a recent award ceremony in Baltimore.

Based in Baltimore, Harpoon Medical is developing the Harpoon system, designed to facilitate minimally invasive surgical repair and transform the treatment of mitral regurgitation, the most common type of heart valve disease.

If left untreated, MR can lead to debilitating and life-threatening conditions such as pulmonary hypertension, arrhythmias and congestive heart failure.

The Harpoon system is approved for investigational use in Poland.