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Abiomed shares lower as FDA panel votes to retain Class III status for Impella

December 7, 2012 11:30 am by | 0 Comments

Abiomed, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABMD) last night announced that the U.S. FDA Circulatory System Devices Panel voted to retain Class III status for the temporary ventricular support devices within the non-roller type cardiopulmonary bypass blood pumps category, which includes Impella®. The 515i Reclassification Panel's confirmation of this category of device as Class III devices is consistent with both the current Class III classification for these device types and as recommended in the FDA's briefing documents, released on December 3, 2012.

"We would like to thank the 515i Panel and FDA for their time and consideration, as well as Dr. Jeffrey Popma of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Dr. William O'Neill of Henry Ford Hospital, who highlighted the compelling body of clinical evidence supporting Impella, including the PROTECT II data set," said Michael R. Minogue, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Abiomed. "We look forward to collaborating with the FDA on next steps and agree with the 515i Panel's feedback that our existing data, combined with our U.S. registry, position us to work with the FDA to submit a PMA application. We welcome the opportunity for a PMA to strengthen our existing marketing clearances and expand the indications for Impella patients."

The FDA's 515i program is designed to review all previously 510(k) cleared Class III devices and determine the appropriate controls to ensure safety and effectiveness for the intended use of these product categories. The classification of Impella as a Class III device requires Pre-Market Approval (PMA) controls (versus prior 510(k) Class III special controls) to ensure safety and effectiveness in the intended use. As per the 515i Reclassification Process and confirmed by the FDA Panel, products will remain on the market for a sufficient period to allow for manufacturers to submit and the FDA to review Pre-Market Approval applications.

As per the statues of the 515i program, there is no change to the current 510(k) clearance for Impella throughout the remaining steps of the reclassification process for Non-Roller Type Cardiopulmonary Bypass Pumps. Following yesterday's Panel recommendation, the next steps in the 515i process include FDA issuance of a Proposed Final Order, followed by a period of public comment, FDA issuance of a Final Order, and then submission of Pre-Market Approval applications by manufacturers with devices in the category. Throughout this series of reclassification steps, Abiomed will continue to market the Impella family of heart pumps and looks forward to working with FDA to submit the necessary clinical data under the PMA application process.

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Abiomed will host a conference call on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss the 515i Reclassification Panel in further detail.

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By Paul Quintaro,

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