OAKLAND, Calif., May 9 (Nasdaq: WHRT, TSX: WHT)Since January 2008, World Heart Corporation (the "Company") has aggressivelypursued various financing alternatives to raise additional capital, includingthrough equity financing transactions and corporate collaborations, in orderto continue operations. At April 30, 2008, the Company had cash and cashequivalents of approximately $0.5 million and current liabilities ofapproximately $2.6 million. On May 2, 2008, the Company learned that itspotential primary investor may not be able to give its assurance of commitmentto allow the Company to access capital to meet current financing needs. Thisinformation resulted in the Company making the determination that itsavailable cash would be insufficient to pay the Company's obligations as theybecome due, which constitutes an event of default under the Company's securedconvertible promissory note in the amount of $5.0 million issued on December11, 2007 to Abiomed, Inc. This event of default under the note results in theoutstanding principal balance of the note, together with accrued but unpaidinterest and any other amounts owing under the Abiomed note documents,becoming immediately due and payable to Abiomed. The note is secured bysecurity agreements entered into by the Company and the Company's wholly-ownedsubsidiary, World Heart, Inc. ("WHI"), in favor of Abiomed, that grant asecurity interest in all of their respective assets. Abiomed could exerciseits remedies under law and under the security agreements, includingforeclosing on the assets of the Company and WHI. An event of default alsopermits Abiomed to terminate the clinical and marketing support servicesagreement.
The Company has an immediate need for additional capital in order tosatisfy its obligations and to continue operations. The Company continues toaggressively pursue various financing alternatives but its efforts to raiseadditional capital have not been successful as of the date of this report.The Company estimates that it has cash available to continue operations onlythrough the latter part of May 2008. If the Company is unable to secureadditional funding, it will be forced to take extraordinary business measureswhich could include filing for bankruptcy, ceasing operations and liquidatingassets.
On May 5, 2008, the Company was informed by Robert J. Majteles that he isresigning from the Board of Directors and all of the committees of the Board,effective immediately. The Company intends to reconstitute all of thecommittees of the Board, such that Mr. William C. Garriock, Dr. Michael Estesand Mr. Gary Goertz, the three remaining independent directors, will bemembers of each of the committees.
On April 29, 2008, the Company held its Annual Meeting of Shareholderswhere proposals for shareholders' vote were presented for the followingpurposes:
The election of directors, the appointment of the auditors and theconversion of the note and exercise of the warrant issued to Abiomed werecarried by a majority of the votes at the meeting in person or by proxy. Acopy of the Voting Results, which includes the percentage outcome of the votescast, is furnished as Exhibit 99.1 to this report and incorporated herein byreference.
About World Heart Corporation
WorldHeart is a developer of mechanical circulatory support systems. TheCompany is headquartered in Oakland, California, USA with additionalfacilities in Salt Lake City, Utah and Herkenbosch, Netherlands. WorldHeart'sregistered office is Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Any forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to thesafe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995and include any statements regarding the Company's ability to regaincompliance with the NASDAQ Capital Market listing requirements, as well asother statements that can be identified by the use of forward-look