Low cost heart valve in the offing under India-US project

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 22, 2018

PSG IMSR, US varsities begin work on commercialisation

A low cost bio-polymeric heart valve that will offer significant advantages over the existing mechanical and tissue-based valves is expected to be commercialised soon. Coimbatore-based PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PSG IMSR) along with experts from the Colorado State University (CSU) and the Ohio State University (OSU) in the US have commenced work on developing the low cost heart valve.

“The bio-polymeric heart valve will be ready in the next couple of weeks. It will thereafter be put to some mandatory test; after pre-clinical trials and with DCGI’s (Drug Controller General of India) approval, TTK Healthcare will commercialise the technology,” S Ramalingam, Dean, PSG IMSR said.

This two-year research project has received joint grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and the Department of Biotechnology in India.

While Lakshmi Prasad Dasi, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator will lead the US efforts, Cardio-thoracic surgeon at PSG IMSR Murugesan is heading the team here.

Stating that this project, when cleared would be a breakthrough in cardiac surgery, the surgeon said “it would be the best alternative for young patients who suffer from rheumatic heart valve disease and particularly from low resource setting.”

“The mechanical heart valves that are implanted on patients at present would require them to take medication all their life to prevent blood clotting and this is not withstanding the cost towards periodic review and lab tests. The annual maintenance alone works out to around Rs15,000 to Rs 20,000. The new device, which is expected to be made available at just about 50 per cent of the cost of the mechanical valve will not only last longer (estimated at more than 50 years compared to the 10- 15 years replacement cycle for the existing mechanical device) but will do without the anticoagulation therapy,” the surgeon explained, adding “the goal is to reduce the cost of the device, enhance valve longevity and help do without life-long medication.

Currently over 2.90 lakh heart valve procedures are performed annually worldwide and this number is expected to triple to over 8.50 lakh by 2050. Due to various causes including lifestyle changes, the incidence of heart diseases is on the rise in India, the surgeon said.

He conceded to the huge demand for heart valves at present. “India needs at least one lakh heart valves every year, but only about 30000 is available at present,” he said emphasising the urgent need for a “Make in India” device.

Published on October 02, 2015

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