SANTA ROSA, Calif.— April 9, 2015 — Direct Flow Medical®, Inc., a transcatheter heartvalve innovator focused on improving patient outcomes, has received Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to broaden its SALUS Trial, including the addition of high risk patients and randomization against a commercial device, the Medtronic CoreValve®.

The SALUS Trial is a prospective, randomized, multi-center, core lab adjudicated U.S. clinical trial, evaluating the Direct Flow Medical Transcatheter Aortic Valve System. The primary endpoint of the trial is a composite of all-cause mortality and disabling stroke at 12 months. Principal investigators for the SALUS Trial are Murat Tuzcu M.D., Vice Chairman of the Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic, and Patrick McCarthy, M.D., Director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The expansion of the SALUS Trial includes the following changes:

  • Treatment of high surgical risk patients and continued treatment of extreme risk patients
  • 2:1 randomization to Medtronic CoreValve®
  • 912 subject pivotal cohort
  • Up to 45 sites in the U.S.
  • Registries for non-femoral access points and type 2 and 3 bicuspid valves

The repositionable and retrievable Direct Flow Medical system is designed to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at high or extreme surgical risk by replacing the native aortic valve, while minimizing the degree and frequency of aortic regurgitation (AR). AR has been shown to be a strong predictor of long-term mortality. The system is designed to address this clinical concern by sealing the annulus and enabling complete assessment of hemodynamic performance with repositioning of the valve after full deployment. The system is designed to avoid rapid pacing of the heart during deployment and post-dilatation following placement, minimizing the risk of hemodynamic instability for patients.

“We have been working closely with the FDA since the early development of the Direct Flow Medical technology and it has been a collaborative effort with the FDA which has led to an expansion of the SALUS trial. The technology has shown outstanding performance in clinical trials and commercial settings, significantly reducing the risk of aortic regurgitation with excellent survival. We look forward to expanding the clinical use to additional centers in the U.S. and continuing to obtain the same strong outcomes in the pivotal trial,” said Dr. Tuzcu.

An earlier feasibility phase of the SALUS Trial conducted in 2013 evaluated the system in 30 patients. The 30 day outcomes demonstrated a survival rate of 97 percent with 100 percent of patients experiencing mild or less aortic regurgitation. Results also showed low procedural complications, no incidence of stroke and a three percent rate of permanent pacing.  The mean aortic gradient decreased from 44.5 mmHg to 12.7 mmHg at 30 days. The previous protocol of the SALUS Trial has enrolled more than 100 extreme risk patients in a non-randomized fashion and will continued to be followed independently.

The Direct Flow Medical system received the CE Mark in January 2013 and is currently available commercially in Europe.

About The Direct Flow Medical System

The benefits of the Direct Flow Medical Transcatheter Aortic Valve System are enabled by its design, which features a distinctive, metal-free frame. Rather than a metal stent, the Direct Flow Medical System incorporates a polymer frame, which is expanded using pressurized saline and contrast for placement, assessment and repositioning. The saline/contrast solution is easily exchanged for a quick-curing polymer that solidifies and secures the valve in place once optimal positioning is reached. The unique double-ring design of the valve creates a tight seal within the annulus. The system is fully repositionable and retrievable up until polymer exchange. The metal-free design enables a low-profile (18 French), fully sheathed delivery system for all valve sizes that minimizes vascular complications and improves hemodynamic outcomes.

About Direct Flow Medical, Inc.

Founded in 2004, Direct Flow Medical, Inc. is focused on developing novel transcatheter heart valve technologies that improve patient outcomes while reducing patient complications. The company is headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, with technology and manufacturing facilities in Lake Forest, California. The Company’s proprietary technology is not limited to aortic valve disease, and is readily applicable to mitral and other heart valve anatomical sites. Direct Flow Medical investors include EDF Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, Spray Venture Partners, Foundation Medical Partners, VantagePoint Venture Partners, ePlanet Venture Partners, SV Life Sciences and strategic corporate investors. For further information, please visit the Web site at



Michelle McAdam Chronic Communications



The Direct Flow Medical Transcatheter Aortic Valve System has not been approved for sale in the USA, Canada or Japan.

Direct Flow Medical and the Direct Flow logo are trademarks of Direct Flow Medical, Inc.


The information on this site is only intended for health care providers in certain markets outside the United States (US) where the Direct Flow Medical Trancatheter Aortic Valve Replacement System is approved for use as indicated by the instructions for use. The information on this page is not intended for health care providers in the US or US health care institutions as this site contains information about a product that is limited by US law to investigational use.

I am a health care
provider in the
United States
I am a health care
provider outside
the United States