ABIOMED is a relatively young company addressing the important and emerging market of cardiac assist devices. The Company is proud of its technological innovation and long-term focus on solving pressing health care needs. This focus has begun to show reward with the domestic introduction of its first lifesaving cardiovascular product, the BVS-5000r bi-ventricular temporary artificial heart system (the BVSr).
|An SI Board Since May 1997|
The BVS is a cardiac support system which helps save the lives of patients whose hearts require assistance after surgery. The BVS is the only FDA approved device for its application. Since approval in late fiscal 1993, revenues from the BVS have grown steadily and now represent almost 90% of the Company's product revenues. There are approximately 12,000 cardiac surgery patients in the United States each year who die from peri-operative complications. The Company hopes to help save these patients and is in the early stages of penetrating this market. The BVS is manufactured and marketed by the Company. In the U.S., the Company employs a direct sales, service and clinical support team to introduce and support the BVS. Internationally, the Company has begun to expand its presence through a network of third party distributors.
The Company also has a dental division which markets products for early detection of periodontal disease and for evaluation of the source of halitosis. Although sales from these products are relatively modest at this time (less than 10% of total revenues), revenues are growing, the products have been proven to be clinically effective by the users and the Company believes that the market addressed by these products is substantial.
The revenue potential of the Company's present products is significant. But, the Company believes that the markets addressed by its products under development are even more extensive. Focusing on cardiac assist, the Company is targeting what it believes to be the largest untapped market in cardiac medicine today. The family of devices being developed by the Company addresses a variety of important niches in the emerging cardiac assist market ranging from devices which provide temporary or permanent assistance to failing hearts to total replacement of the heart with an artificial heart. Heart disease affects millions of people in the U.S. and kills more Americans than all cancers combined. The Company is working to save or improve the lives of a significant number of these people.
The two primary cardiac assist products under development by the Company are: 1) a total implantable artificial heart to extend life for many patients with failing hearts who cannot get a suitable natural donor heart; and 2) a Heart Booster(TM) to assist a weakened natural heart in order to improve the quality of life of many patients who, though not at risk of imminent death, are severely limited in their ability to perform normal activities despite maximum use of available drugs. Patients in these conditions today have no other alternatives. The Company, leveraging its strengths in research and product development, together with its practical experience in manufacturing, marketing, sales and regulatory compliance, is vigorously moving to address these cardiovascular challenges with mechanical cardiac assist devices.
The majority of the Company's research and development is supported by third party contracts and grants from which the Company retains rights to the resulting technology. The Artificial Heart and Heart Booster programs are being developed in collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, respectively.
Over the past five years, the Company's revenues and operating results have steadily improved. In each of the past two fiscal years, the latest of which ended March 31, 1996, product revenue increased by over 40 percent compared to the prior year. The Company continues to make significant investment in product research and development (>30% of product revenues) and market expansion and, nevertheless, reported a profit in each of its last five fiscal quarters.
The Company has no debt and over $10 million in cash and short-term investments.