Press Release

Monday, 02 January 2012

Transplantation: study on heart valves that last a lifetime

Transplanting a heart valve that is not rejected, lasts a lifetime and, in children, even grows with the body – this is the aim of the ‘European clinical study for the application of regenerative heart valves’ (ESPOIR). Headed by Professor Axel Haverich, Director of the Department of Cardiothoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery at Hannover Medical School (MHH), the study got underway on 1 January 2012. The European Union is supporting the project to the tune of 5.2 million euros over four years. Apart from MHH, seven major European paediatric heart centres are participating in the study, and a total of 100 patients will be treated. They will receive human valves – tissues donated as part of this clinical study – provided by two non-profit organizations: the German Society for Tissue Transplantation and the European Homograft Bank. Corlife, a company founded as a spin-off from MHH, is to prepare the donated valves, and the Leibniz University of Hannover will be responsible for the administration and organization of this venture.

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