This collaboration is initially focused on developing valves to treat Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), a condition that affects over 30 million people globally, mainly in emerging markets. RHD was declared a global health priority by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a special resolution in 2018. This resolution recognizes that up to now, efforts to prevent and treat RHD have been unsuccessful. Existing mechanical or animal-tissue replacement valves are unsuited for the challenging pathologies of typically-younger RHD patients. In addition, lack of suitable medical facilities and high valve costs effectively condemn the majority of patients living with RHD to a premature death.
SAT and DSM are collaborating to produce breakthrough products that address the unique biological, cost and access challenges posed by RHD. The replacement heart valves being developed by SAT and DSM will be based on platform technologies developed by SAT in recent years. At their core, the valves will use DSM’s advanced and proven CarboSil® Thermoplastic Silicone-Polycarbonate-urethane (TSPCU) biomedical polymers negating the need for invasive open-heart surgery or the lifelong burden of anticoagulant drugs. In a second phase, these polymeric leaflet valves will be offered to patients in developed economies suffering heart valve failure associated with age, diet and other factors.
“There is a global trend towards more cost-effective safe treatments with comparable outcomes versus the existing standard of care,” said Tim Shannon, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at DSM Biomedical. "SAT’s strong technical and clinical expertise, combined with DSM’s CarboSil TSPCU and regulatory expertise in the cardiovascular therapeutic area, will improve access to advanced healthcare in the regions that need it most.”
“More than 30 million people will be diagnosed with RHD, with a significant portion who will require heart valve surgery, according to the World Health Organization,” said SAT CEO Peter Zilla. “RHD impacts a significant number of younger patients, in which heart valve prosthesis often degrade with time. Using a polymeric heart valve can have a significant impact on longevity of the device and quality of life in younger patients.”