Edwards Lifesciences Corp. history, profile and history video

 Edwards Lifesciences Corp. designs, develops, manufactures and markets products to treat late stage cardiovascular disease. Its technologies are categorized into four areas: Heart Valve Therapy, Critical Care, Cardiac Surgery Systems and Vascular. The Heart Valve Therapy manufactures tissue heart valves and repair products, which are used to replace defective heart valve. The company produces pericardial and porcine valves from biologically inert animal tissue sewn onto proprietary wire for stents. The Critical Care provides hemodynamic monitoring technologies used to measure a patient’s heart function in surgical and intensive care settings. Hemodynamic monitoring enables a clinician to balance the oxygen supply and demand of a critically ill patient and plays an important role in assuring tissue and organ perfusion, and ultimately patient survival. The Cardiac Surgery Systems offers benefits, including smaller incisions, less blood loss, quick recoveries and less scarring. It also includes the ThruPort minimal incision valve surgery platform that enables surgeons to perform intricate procedures through small incisions and tailor procedures based on their preferred surgical approach. The Vascular the pervasive nature of cardiovascular disease means that the circulatory conditions that occur inside the heart are often mirrored in peripheral blood vessels elsewhere in a patient’s body. Atherosclerotic disease is one common condition that involves the thickening of blood vessels and the formation of circulation restricting plaque, clots and other substances. Edwards Lifesciences was founded by Miles Lowell Edwards in 1958 and is headquartered in Irvine, CA.

“Our History – Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards Lifesciences’ roots date to 1958, when Miles “Lowell” Edwards set out to build the first artificial heart.

Edwards was a 60-year-old, recently retired engineer holding 63 patents in an array of industries, with an entrepreneurial spirit and a dream of helping patients with heart disease. His fascination with healing the heart was sparked in his teens, when he suffered two bouts of rheumatic fever, which can scar heart valves and eventually cause the heart to fail. 

With a background in hydraulics and fuel pump operations, Edwards believed the human heart could be mechanized. He presented the concept to Dr. Albert Starr, a young surgeon at the University of Oregon Medical School, who thought the idea was too complex. Instead, Starr encouraged Edwards to focus first on developing an artificial heart valve, for which there was an immediate need.

After just two years, the first Starr-Edwards mitral valve was designed, developed, tested, and successfully placed in a patient. Newspapers around the world reported on what they termed a “miraculous” heart surgery.

This innovation spawned a company, Edwards Laboratories, which set up shop in Santa Ana, California – not far from where Edwards Lifesciences’ corporate headquarters is located today.

In 1966, Edwards Laboratories was purchased by American Hospital Supply Corporation and became American Edwards Laboratories. Then, in 1985, American Edwards was acquired by Baxter International Inc. In early 2000, the company was spun-off as an independent, publicly-held corporation and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “EW.” 

Our spirit of innovation remains central to Edwards today. The number of patients requiring treatment for cardiovascular disease and critical illnesses is increasing dramatically, and further growth is expected in the future. Several factors are feeding this dynamic: an aging population, high incidence of rheumatic fever in developing nations, and improved diagnostic techniques that allow physicians to detect problems sooner.

Today, we continue to lead the field of tissue replacement heart valves and repair products and advanced hemodynamic monitoring, which have helped treat and manage more than 2 million patients worldwide.

With more than 50 years of experience, we have grown into a global company, with a presence in approximately 100 countries and approximately 8,500 employees around the world. Each one of them is dedicated to furthering Edwards’ original vision to help clinicians, patients and their families work together as a united community fighting cardiovascular disease and critical illnesses.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Edwards.com

**Video published on YouTube by “ Edwards Lifesciences Videos