Abiomed founder, cardiovascular pioneer, dies of cancer

August 20, 2012 by MassDevice staff

David Lederman, Abiomed founder and developer of the 1st fully implantable, battery-powered artificial heart, died last week at the age of 68 from pancreatic cancer.

Abiomed founder David Lederman

Abiomed (NSDQ:ABMD) founder and cardiovascular pioneer David Lederman last week died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68.

At his funeral in Swampscott, Mass., mourners remembered Lederman as a scientist and author, as well as a humanitarian who sponsored a summer camp for children in Israel whose hometown was under attack from rockets from Gaza, the Boston Herald reported.

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"David Lederman was a true inspiration to the world of science and engineering," Michael Minogue, Lederman's successor as president, CEO & chairman of Abiomed, told the paper.

Minogue took over in 2005 when Lederman left the company after 24 years as its CEO, president and chairman and 1 final year on the board.

"Dr. Lederman set out to develop the first total artificial heart, the AbioCor, a scientific phenomenon that became a reality," Minogue told the Herald. "He accomplished a goal that had never been achieved before and placed Abiomed on the map as an innovative pioneer in the world of medical technologies."

Lederman is credited with developing the 1st fully implantable artificial heart, which ran on battery power. Its predecessor, the Jarvik-7 developed by Jarvik Heart, was only partially implantable and needed to be connected to external devices.

Today Abiomed's Impella ventricular assist system consists of a thin wire that's implanted into the heart via catheter and can provide support for up to 6 hours at a time.