Saudi Ministry of Health and Abdul Latif Jameel Health to pioneer AVNeo™ heart surgery procedure in bid to save more lives in the Kingdom

April 12, 2021 | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
MoH ALJ Enterprises AVNeo Signing

Left to Right: Ministry of Health officials Ms. Najlaa Kateb, Director General, Innovation Center; Dr. Adel Tash, Adult Consultant Cardiac Surgeon; Dr. Samira Al-Ghamdi, Director General, General Dept. of Specialized Centers; and Eng. Faisal S. Al-Samannoudi, Vice Chairman and CEO, & Rowaid Al Sawaf, Chief Commercial Officer, Abdul Latif Jameel Enterprises.

  • The pioneering technique is an alternative to artificial aortic valve replacement.
  • The latest data (2018) showed that “the 10-year survival rate was 85.9% for AVNeoTM” compared to less than 80% for alternative procedures.
  • Using the patients own tissue, the technique is suitable for all age groups including children and may reduce the need for future surgery.

Riyadh: April 12, 2021

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Abdul Latif Jameel Health, launched a pioneering new medical procedure for the surgical reconstruction of the aortic heart valve, that is projected to save more lives. The introduction makes Saudi Arabia the first country in the Gulf region to use the AVNeo technology for open heart surgery. The United States and Japan are among the first countries to use this technology, followed by Germany, Russia, Italy and Britain.

AVNeo (Aortic Valve Neocuspidization), which was introduced through Abdul Latif Jameel’s relationship with the Japanese Organization for Medical Device Development (JOMDD), is a standardized revolutionary procedural technique suitable for all age groups. Medical studies show that patients receiving the procedure may not be required to continue taking medication six months post-surgery.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases account for 37% of deaths and are among the main causes of premature death in Saudi Arabia. These diseases are also increasingly becoming the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 18.6 million lives in 2019, which represents 16% of the world’s total deaths.

Prof. Shigeyuki Ozaki MD Toho University Ohashi Hospital
Prof. Shigeyuki Ozaki MD
Toho University Ohashi Hospital,
Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery

Developed by Professor Shigeyuki Ozaki, the procedure, which uses the patient’s autologous pericardium, is an innovative surgery for any aortic valve disease.

Over the past 10 years, Prof. Ozaki has performed more than 1,100 cases and, to date, over 5,000 cases have been performed globally. According to the latest data available (2018), as seen in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, “the 10-year survival rate was 85.9% for AVNeo” compared to less than 80% for alternative procedures.

The landmark agreement was signed at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Riyadh in the presence of Ms. Najlaa Kateb, Director General of the Innovation Center at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Adel Tash, Adult Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, and Dr. Samira Al-Ghamdi, Director General of the General Department of Specialized Centers. Abdul Latif Jameel Health was represented by Eng. Faisal Alsamannoudi, Vice Chairman and CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel Enterprises, Eng. Rowaid Al-Sawaf, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, and Eng. Ahmed Al Kathiri, General Manager, Projects Department.

In this meeting, Ms. Naglaa Kateb said: “We seek to facilitate and explore the possibility of applying such innovative medical technological solutions in the Kingdom’s hospitals in order to provide high-quality integrated services in the field of health care. The Ministry of Health continues its efforts through the “Future Foresight” program at the Innovation Center, which aims to leverage the latest medical technological solutions and make them available to patients.”

Eng. Faisal Alsamannoudi said: “We are proud of this collaboration with the Ministry of Health, a pioneer in the health sector, implementing innovative projects to improve patient services. Over the past 75 years, Abdul Latif Jameel has transformed from a local company into a globally diversified business, with the creation of Abdul Latif Jameel Health marking an important milestone in this journey. Collaborating on projects like AVNeo will undoubtedly pave the way for further ground-breaking innovation in our work moving forward.

Also, this collaboration serves as an incentive for Abdul Latif Jameel Health to promote continuous research and development for the benefit of this Nation and its people, as part of its contribution to the National Transformation Program and the “Quality of Life” Program, in line with the Saudi vision 2030.”

The Ministry of Health and Abdul Latif Jameel Health are currently seeking to have the new medical technique formally approved by the Saudi Food & Drug Authority, including setting up a program to train medical staff of the Ministry of Health inside and outside the Kingdom to perform AVNeo operations under the supervision of Dr. Adel Tash, the Adult Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at the Ministry of Health.

Notes to Editors 

About Abdul Latif Jameel Health 

Backed by Abdul Latif Jameel, one of the most respected diversified family businesses and investors with a 75-year heritage, deep roots, and established networks alongside a mult-sector presence in 30 countries across six continents, Abdul Latif Jameel Health is uniquely positioned as a trusted partner in realizing major innovations and opportunities in the healthcare world. 

Abdul Latif Jameel Health reflects the Jameel family’s long-established commitment to innovating for a better future, including through Community Jameel Saudi Arabia, a foundation that supports the Abdul Latif Jameel Hospital in Jeddah among other projects, and Community Jameel, an international organisation supporting science and technology-led solutions to global challenges that co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (Jameel Clinic) at MIT, and the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (Jameel Institute) at Imperial College London. 

Abdul Latif Jameel Health takes this commitment into the commercial environment addressing tangible real-world needs today, for a better tomorrow.

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About Abdul Latif Jameel 

Abdul Latif Jameel is a global investor and diversified, private family owned business celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020.  It is comprised of a number of independent entities across a number of major industry sectors including: passenger vehicles; commercial vehicles and equipment; logistics; engineering and manufacturing; financial services; energy and environmental services, health; land and real estate: consumer products and advertising and media.  Strong trusted networks and long-established relationships make Abdul Latif Jameel a powerful business and investment collaborator across the world.  It currently has a presence in more than 30 countries on six continents and employs more than 11,000 people of over 40 nationalities. 
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