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Edwards Lifesciences (EW) Sapien Safely Replaces Aortic Valves at Two Years


3/26/2012 8:40:13 AM

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - March 26, 2012) - Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE: EW), the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring, reported that longer-term results ( ≥ 2 years) from the high-risk Cohort A of The PARTNER Trial -- a randomized comparison of patients treated with either surgical aortic valve replacement or the Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve -- were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. The data were concurrently presented at the American College of Cardiology's (ACC) 61st Annual Scientific Session in Chicago.

At two years, all-cause mortality for patients treated with Edwards' SAPIEN transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was 33.9 percent, which is statistically equivalent to open-heart surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR) at 35.0 percent. The authors concluded: "[T]his 2-year follow-up of patients in the PARTNER trial supports the use of TAVR as an alternative to surgery in selected high-risk patients with aortic stenosis. The two treatments were similar with respect to mortality, reduction in cardiac symptoms and improved valve hemodynamics." The presentation also included available data out to 36 months, which trended similarly.

"We are pleased that the growing body of longer-term evidence supports the Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter valve as an important therapy for high-risk patients," said Michael A. Mussallem, Edwards' chairman and CEO. "Consistent with previous studies, The PARTNER Trial also demonstrated that, even though seriously ill patients with aortic stenosis face dismal outcomes, many do not receive life-saving surgery because of other medical risks, age or preference. This underscores the value of an alternative therapeutic option for these high-risk patients."

The authors noted that earlier results raised concerns that TAVR was responsible for increased early and, possibly, late strokes. However, over the reported follow-up period from The PARTNER Trial, the available data published today showed there was no significant difference in the risk of stroke between TAVR and surgery patients.

Predictors of mortality for the overall trial cohort, as well as for each of the randomized groups, were also analyzed. The study authors noted that there was a new and important observation of an association of paravalvular regurgitation after TAVR with late mortality, possibly related to factors including the ratio of the transcatheter-valve size to the patient's native valve size. According to the authors, "Recently, the routine use of three-dimensional imaging techniques has improved annulus sizing, resulting in better selection of properly sized valves."

The PARTNER Trial is the first randomized, controlled trial of a transcatheter aortic valve and the only trial that has follow-up data on all patients for at least two years. Cohort A of the trial enrolled between May 2007 and Sept. 2009 and studied 699 patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis deemed at high risk for traditional open-heart surgery. Patients were evaluated by a multi-disciplinary heart team and were evenly randomized to receive either traditional open-heart surgery or the Edwards SAPIEN valve with transfemoral or transapical delivery. The study represented the initial experience with TAVR at most sites, and the use of first-generation delivery systems. The PARTNER Trial achieved its primary endpoint, concluding that survival of patients treated with the Edwards SAPIEN valve at one year was equivalent to those treated with surgery.

The two-year data from the inoperable Cohort B of The PARTNER Trial were also published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. These data were previously presented in Nov. 2011 at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium.

Also in Nov. 2011, the Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve received United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of certain inoperable patients; it is currently an investigational device for the treatment of high-risk patients in the U.S. and is awaiting approval. Following primary endpoint analysis, Edwards submitted one-year data from Cohort A of The PARTNER Trial to the FDA in April 2011.

Edwards Lifesciences will be hosting an informal question and answer session on Monday, March 26, for securities analysts with Martin D. Leon, M.D. of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, who will discuss the two-year data from Cohort A of The PARTNER Trial. The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Room CC12B from 5:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT. A live webcast of this event will be available on the Edwards Lifesciences investor relations web site at: www.edwards.com/InvestorRelations/EventCalendar.htm.

About Edwards Lifesciences
Edwards Lifesciences is the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. Driven by a passion to help patients, the company partners with clinicians to develop innovative technologies in the areas of structural heart disease and critical care monitoring that enable them to save and enhance lives. Additional company information can be found at www.edwards.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, Mr. Mussallem's comments, and statements regarding the timing and outcome of anticipated FDA approvals. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management of the company and are believed to be reasonable, though inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of the statement.

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or experience to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements based on a number of factors including but not limited to unexpected delays in the FDA approval process, further market developments, and expanded clinical experience. These factors are detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Edwards, Edwards Lifesciences, the stylized E logo, Edwards SAPIEN and PARTNER are trademarks of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation.


Media Contact:
Sarah Huoh or Janet Kim
949-250-5070

Investor Contact:
David K. Erickson
949-250-6826


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