ABIOMED gives weary hearts a rest. The medical device maker has developed a range of cardiac assist devices and is developing a self-contained artificial heart. Its Impella micro heart pumps can temporarily take over blood circulation during surgery or catheterization. Its BVS5000 and AB5000 ventricular assist devices products temporarily take over the heart's pumping function and improve circulatory flow in patients with acute heart failure, thus allowing their hearts to rest and recover. ABIOMED markets its products through both a direct sales force and distributors.
ABIOMED has also developed a battery-powered, implantable replacement heart system called AbioCor, which can be used to extend life for dying patients who aren't eligible for a heart transplant. ABIOMED developed the AbioCor system, based on technology developed at Pennsylvania State University. However, due to the limited number of patients that qualify for use of the AbioCor, the company places little emphasis on marketing efforts for this product line.
While many of ABIOMED's products are approved for use in in other countries, international sales make up less than 10% of the company's revenues. The company intends to improve its international sales with more sales and support teams in Europe. It manufactures its Impella products at a facility in Germany while the rest of its products are made in Massachusetts.
After years of steady sales growth, ABIOMED made its first profit in 2012. Previously, its research and development expenditures had outpaced its sales income. That year's profit came from strong reorders of its Impella systems which now account for more than 80% of company revenues. In addition to expanding its product portfolio and approvals, the company is working to raise awareness of its products in the medical community. ABIOMED is also evaluating opportunities for strategic acquisitions.
The company's research efforts are focused on developing new products for acute heart failure patients, as well as next-generation versions and support systems for its existing products. Following the 2008 FDA approval of the first Impella system, the company shifted more of its development and sales efforts onto that product line. – less