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CryoLife Provides Update on ValveXchange®, Inc. Investment
Date:10/13/2011

ATLANTA, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE: CRY), a leading tissue processing and medical device company focused on cardiac and vascular surgery, announced today that ValveXchange, Inc., a company in which CryoLife owns a minority interest, has completed the first three human implants with its novel Vitality™ two-part heart valve system.

The surgeries were performed in Asuncion, Paraguay and took place on Sept. 26 and 27, 2011. Three men aged 49, 62 and 72 received the Vitality™ heart valves. All have been discharged and are recovering normally.

The mission of ValveXchange is to bring the full, active lifestyle advantages of tissue heart valves to patients of all ages. Currently, bioprosthetic tissue valves are recommended only for older patients because the leaflet sets wear out every 10-15 years, requiring repeated open-heart surgeries. Younger patients today receive mechanical heart valves that do not wear out, but require lifelong doses of anticoagulation drugs that force a sedentary lifestyle with serious side effects.

The ValveXchange concept is a two-part valve with a permanently implanted base and an easily replaceable leaflet set. The leaflet set is designed to be replaced transapically (through the apex of the heart), accessed by a small incision between the ribs and not requiring any future open-heart surgeries. ValveXchange is currently developing the tool set for the transapical leaflet replacement procedure. Leaflets can also be replaced using standard and minimally invasive surgical techniques that are faster and simpler than traditional valve replacement surgeries.

Steven G. Anderson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of CryoLife, said, "We are pleased that ValveXchange has successfully completed their First-in-Man procedures with the Vitality system. The unique bioprosthetic leaflet set design ha
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SOURCE CryoLife, Inc.
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