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Roma - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - Design, fashion, creativity and good food are not the only reasons Made in Italy is known throughout the world. It is often research and high technology, combined with reliability and a high capacity for innovation, that places several Italian firms among the first in the world. This is the case with the heart valves made by Sorin, the Italian firm that is a world leader in this sector.
During the 1960s, the development of cardio-pulmonary bypass techniques and, especially, the birth of the first heart-lung machines, made it possible to reach decisive achievements in the surgical treatment of cardiac pathologies. This made it possible to carry out complex, laborious operations, including the substitution of the heart valves.
Throughout the world, research programs were launched to perfect artificial prostheses capable of substituting the natural heart tissues. It was in this fervor for technological development that an Italian firm, Sorin, was able to invest intelligence and resources in order to acquire a reputation and an increasing share of the market.
This entrepreneurial and technological adventure was unique in Italy and in Europe. In fact, Sorin was founded in 1956 in Saluggia, near Vercelli in Piedmont, as the Nuclear Plant Research Company, on the initiative of Fiat and Montecatini, an Italian leader at that time in chemicals. After two decades devoted to research in materials and systems for civil atomic applications, the firm had developed a vast knowledge in an avant-garde sector, that of technological membranes. Sorin was founded with the aim of developing materials and products to be used in the health field. It was a 180 degree transformation that was guided by the intuition that the biomedical sector could be of exceptional strategic interest. Today, the Sorin group, controlled by the participating financial company, Bios spa, covers about 40 percent of the world market in artificial cardiac valves, with production reaching 200 thousand units a year.
Today, throughout the world there are hundreds of thousands of hearts that beat regularly thanks to the cardiac valves made in Italy in the group's various establishments. It is a difficult task when you consider that a heart valve opens and closes about 40 million times during a year.
This is why research into materials, aimed at guaranteeing maximum reliability through the years and the greatest capacity for assimilation on the part of the organism, has constituted for Italian researchers not only an objective but an actual imperative. This is how exclusive materials and unique production processes were born: the "families" of the Bicarbons and the Pericarbons used in making products consisting of a unique implantation system and accompanied by treatment that guarantee an exceptional biological acceptance. This innovative effort involved the combined participation of private entrepreneurs and large government research centers such as the Cardio-surgical Center of the Niguarda Hospital in Milan, the University of Modena and the National Research Council, in a collaboration that has lasted more then twenty years.
This has made it possible to successfully confront the entire market of materials and products for the treatment of cardiovascular and kidney ailments. Today, in addition to Sorin Biomedica Cardio, the group also includes Dideco of Modena, Ela Medical of Le Plessis-Robinson of France, Carbomedics of Austin, Texas, Cobe Cardiovascular of Arvada in Colorado, Stockert of Munich in Germany and Bellco of Modena.
Complessively, the Sorin group can relay on the collaboration of almost 5,000 employees in seven countries. Sales in 2003 surpassed 700 million euros while the prediction for this year is 760 million euros. The group has been quoted on the Milan stock exchange since January 2004.
Sorin Group S.p.A.
Via Borgonuovo, 14
20121 Milan, Italy