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WorldHeart Signs Agreements for Next-Generation Minimally Invasive Blood Pump

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ("WorldHeart"; Nasdaq: WHRT) - World Heart Corporation (WorldHeart) announced today that it has finalized assignment and exclusive license agreements with LaunchPoint Technologies Inc., (LPT) Goleta, California, and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for its next-generation minimally invasive blood pump, the MiVAD. The MiVAD(TM) is designed to provide partial cardiac support between 2-4 liters per minute to less sick heart failure patients than those served by existing full-support Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs).

The MiVAD design is based on the Pediaflow(TM) LVAD design and intellectual property. The PediaFlow LVAD, a miniaturized implantable fully magnetically levitated blood pump, is intended for neonates and has evolved significantly through design and development. The latest version of the PediaFlow pump is approximately the size of a AA battery and was successfully evaluated in a multi-month animal trial this summer. The Pediaflow LVAD development has been led by the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has been primarily funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute with supplemental funding and technology contributions from WorldHeart. WorldHeart, CMU and LPT are members of the development consortium. The work completed on this device is the foundation for the MiVAD. Additionally, the MiVAD will incorporate existing intellectual property as well as internal and external design features from the Levacor(TM) LVAD.

Mr. Alex Martin, WorldHeart's CEO, commented that, "while WorldHeart continues to focus on the clinical use and commercialization of the Levacor LVAD, these agreements allow WorldHeart to accelerate the development of the MiVAD and related technology in the area of miniaturization of magnetically levitated blood pumps".

Dr. Brad Paden, founder and CEO of LPT added that, "we are pleased that this breakthrough miniaturization technology will be integrated with WorldHeart's existing and complementary fully magnetically levitated blood pump platform to meet a new, large and promising clinical need".

About World Heart Corporation

WorldHeart is a developer of mechanical circulatory support systems in Salt Lake City, Utah with additional facilities in Oakland, California, USA and Herkenbosch, The Netherlands. WorldHeart's registered office is in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Any forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and include all statements relating to the advancement of WorldHeart's clinical development programs, the potential clinical benefits of the Levacor LVAD, PediaFlow LVAD and MiVAD, and the growth of WorldHeart's overall business, as well as other statements that can be identified by the use of forward-looking language, such as "believes," "feels," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "plans," "anticipates," or "intends" or the negative of those terms, or by discussions of strategy or intentions. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, including without limitation: WorldHeart's need for additional capital in the future; risks in product development, regulatory approvals and market acceptance of and demand for WorldHeart's products; acquisition and commercialization of new technologies in the area of miniaturization of magnetically levitated blood pumps and successful development of the MiVAD; and other risks detailed in WorldHeart's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2009, June 30, 2009 and September 30, 2009.

SOURCE World Heart Corporation

SOURCE World Heart Corporation
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