The transfemoral and transapical valve implantations were performed by Osaka University last month in preparation for Osaka's Senshin-Iryo application submission to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. "We are continuing the momentum of Edwards' global transcatheter heart valve program with the first human implants in Japan. We look forward to providing this important treatment option to more Japanese patients and continuing to demonstrate very strong patient outcomes with the Edwards SAPIEN valve," said Michael A. Mussallem, Edwards' chairman and CEO. The Edwards SAPIEN valve was approved for sale in Europe in late 2007. According to the company It has been used in the treatment of thousands of high-risk patients in both commercial and clinical trial environments. It has also been evaluated as part of nine rigorous scientific studies now complete or under way. In the United States, it is being studied as part of the world's only randomized, pivotal clinical trial of a transcatheter aortic valve. Edwards Lifesciences was named MD&DI's manufacturer of the year for 2009.