Hancock Jaffe Sells Heart Valve Stake

Hancock Jaffe Laboratories has sold its 50% stake in Heart Valve Co. to Hancock's partner in the joint venture, St. Jude Medical Inc. of St. Paul, Minn.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

St. Jude and Hancock Jaffe Laboratories created Heart Valve Co. in 1992 to develop a state-of-the-art tissue valve. Their first product, the SJM X-Cell valve, uses pork tissue that has been treated to make it less susceptible to hardening, and it has a plastic structure, or stent. Clinical trials are underway in Europe and will begin in the U.S. later this year.

St. Jude, the world's largest maker of mechanical heart valves, has been beefing up its research on tissue valves in recent years. Hancock Jaffe is a tissue processing and heart valve development company.

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