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Thoratec receives approval from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare to launch its HeartMate II, which provides a "bridge-to-transplantation therapy" for patients with advanced heart failure.

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Medical device maker Thoratec (NSDQ:THOR) said the company won Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approval for its HeartMate II, a device designed to help the heart's pumping action in patients with severe heart disease and for use in people waiting for a heart transplant.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based medical device maker and its distribution partner Nipro Corporation said they expected to launch the product in Japan at the end of 1st quarter next year.

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