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Is this an alternative to a Heart Transplant

The makers of a revolutionary heart pump could be an alternative to a transplant, have won a major award. Calon Cardio-Technology Ltd, based at Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science, was presented with UK Trade and Investment’s best breakthrough technology award. The company is developing new implantable pumps for the treatment of heart failure, which are cheaper than the current models available and do not require such invasive surgery to fit. The award comes as Calon Cardio is hoping to secure £5m in funding to start acute and chronic trials of the device.

Calon Cardio was formed in 2007 and is a collaboration between Oxford artificial heart pioneer Professor Stephen Westaby and Wales-based Prof Marc Clement.

Professor Westaby, the firm’s medical director, said: “Last year there were just 90 heart transplants and so we are working towards producing a more realistic off-the-shelf alternative, which is a smaller and more affordable device implanted using less invasive surgery.” he further indicated that “Our aim is to relieve symptoms, prolong the life for patients with chronic heart failure and provide a rescue device for patients who are dying from heart attack.”

Professor Clement, who is also vice-chancellor of the University of Wales and an honorary professor at Swansea University’s College of Medicine, said: “This is a truly transformational product that could make a huge difference to our quality of life.”

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