Updated Nov. 15 at 10:20 a.m. to reflect that the study did not compare Impella treatment to shock therapy, but that it was conducted in patients not undergoing cardiogenic shock.
Abiomed Inc. (NSDQ:ABMD) enrolled the first patient in a clinical trial of its Impella cardiac pump evaluating treatment of patients with heart tissue death.
The trial will assess “direct unloading,” or the use of the Impella mechanical pump inside blood vessels and the heart to channel blood flow from the heart’s left ventricle in STEMI patients not experiencing cardiogenic schock.
The study will involve 60 patients at a maximum of five locations in an FDA prospective, randomized, controlled study.
Abiomed’s Impella pump, which won FDA clearance in June 2008, makes up the bulk of its sales, accounting for $22 million during the three months ended June 30, 2011.
The company credited the workhorse device with leading it to the best year in its history. Abiomed posted 12-month sales of $101 million, an 18 percent spike from the previous year, for its fiscal 2011 year.
The double-digit growth in Impella sales made the company a Zacks Investment Research favorite, alongside Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT), St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ), Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX) and others.
News of the initial enrollment didn’t do much for ABMD shares, which lost 4 percent by early afternoon today, sitting around $11.62 per share after closing at $12.13 Friday.
See an animated demonstration of the Impella pump at work: