Dunwoody News Alert

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Finding a way to get a heart valve to replace itself the goal of Dunwoody scientist.

AJC, People in Business, 10/29/06, by Peralte C. Paul

The Holy Grail

From the story:

Girardot is a co-founder and managing partner of a privately held life sciences firm that she and her husband, Jean-Marie, who also is a scientist, run with their children.

Through that first venture, which spawned two other life sciences companies —- BioMed Design here in Dunwoody and PegasusBiologics in San Francisco —- the Girardots created a technology that's helped thousands of heart patients worldwide.

Heart patients who need valves replaced had two choices, either using a mechanical valve, or natural valves derived from pigs or cows. Each has it downside: mechanical valves often lead to blood clots and valves from animal tissues are prone to calcification.

Girardot's research led to a collaboration in the early 1990s with Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., one of the world's leading biotechnology firms. The resulting heart valve technology, which received federal approval in 1996, has been used to prevent calcification in soft valves that have been implanted in more than 185,000 patients worldwide.


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