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Jim Cramer Talks With CEO of Edwards Lifesciences

Medical device maker doubling down on heart valve research, CEO Michael Mussallem tells Cramer.

Thousands of people have had their lives lengthened and greatly improved from aortic stenosis by Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve Replacement (TAVR) surgery.

Michael Mussallem, chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences  (EW) - Get Edwards Lifesciences Corporation Report, told Jim Cramer on a recent episode of "Mad Money," how the lifesaving technology has improved. Edwards is one of the pioneers and leaders in making TAVR devices.

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It's been 10 years since TAVR was first approved in the U.S., but since then, Mussallem said the procedure has only gotten better. They've made the device smaller and reduced complications, resulting in better patient outcomes. TAVR is now just a 45-minute procedure and patients often go home the next day. Edwards TAVR valves have been used in more than 450,000 patients in over 70 countries.

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With the technology improving and its use growing, Edwards is forecasting double-digit sales growth in 2022

Mussallem told Cramer the company is doubling-down on research and development. The company is also adding more clinical trials to prove to doctors that TAVR can be used earlier, and in more patients than are currently getting the procedure. Edwards currently reinvests 17% to 18% of sales into research, he noted.

Edwards is also innovating with smart recovery solutions that continuously monitor patients after surgery and can predict low blood pressure events before they occur.

Narrowing of the valve in the large blood vessel branching off the heart (the aorta) leads to aortic stenosis.This narrowing keeps the valve from opening fully, reducing blood flow to the body and making the heart work harder.

Mussallem was appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Edwards Lifesciences in 2000, when it became an independent, publicly-traded company. Under his leadership, Edwards has established its position as a global leader in patient-focused medical innovations with the introduction of lifesaving and life-sustaining therapies such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement, new resilient surgical valves designed for active patients and non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring.

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