Evalve, Inc. (Evalve), a company developing products for percutaneous repair of cardiac valves, has announced that its MitraClip system treated first group of patients at the Elisabethinen Krankenhaus, Linz, Austria. The system non-surgically treats patients with the effects of functional and degenerative mitral regurgitation.

The first patients in Austria were successfully treated by a team led by Wolfgang Tkalec, M.D., assisted by Josef Aichinger, M.D., and Christian Ebner, M.D.

I have been very encouraged by the support and cooperation across specialties in establishing the MitraClip therapy as a new therapeutic option for our patients for whom surgery is not a good option, said Dr. Aichinger. What we’ve seen is that this procedure appears to be a good option for functional MR patients as there has been a dramatic improvement in mitral regurgitation in most patients immediately following the procedure.

Evalve initiated commercial sales of the MitraClip system in Europe under the CE Mark in late 2008. The company is employing a direct sales strategy and is taking a disciplined and measured approach to the initial commercial roll out. Evalve has worked closely with hospitals to deliver high quality training programs in preparation for the first series of implants and offers ongoing support. The MitraClip device is currently being implanted in seven Western European countries, including Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and now in Austria.

We are pleased with the successful initial use of the MitraClip device at this important cardiac center, said Ferolyn Powell, president and chief executive officer of Evalve. We have been very encouraged by the interest in Europe from both interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. We think that their adoption and the commercial success to date speak to the benefits that the MitraClip therapy can bring to patients.