Executives from CARMAT, the designer and developer of the world’s most advanced total artificial heart project, announced the first implantation of its artificial heart. This was part of its feasibility study and in accordance with the approvals granted by the ANSM (Agence nationale de sécurité du medicament et des produits de santé, the French health authority) and the Comité de Protection des Personnes (ethics committee).
The procedure was performed on Dec. 18, 2013, by the Georges Pompidou European Hospital team in Paris (France) – a world first. The implantation went smoothly, with the prosthesis automatically providing blood flow at physiologic conditions. As of this announcement, the patient was being monitored in the intensive care unit, and was awake and talking with his family.
“We are delighted with this first implant, although it is premature to draw conclusions given that a single implant has been performed and that we are in the early postoperative phase,” says Marcello Conviti, CEO, CARMAT.
About the total artificial heart project
The only credible response for all cases of end-stage heart failure, which is a real public health issue: CARMAT's aim is to be able to provide a response to a major public health issue associated with heart disease, the world's leading cause of death: chronic and acute heart failure. Indeed, this disease currently affects over 100 million patients in developed countries. By pursuing the development of its total artificial heart, CARMAT intends to overcome the well-known shortfall in heart transplants for the tens of thousands of people suffering from heart failure.
The result of combining two types of unique expertise: the medical expertise of Professor Carpentier, known throughout the world for inventing Carpentier-Edwards heart valves, which are the most used in the world, and the technological expertise of EADS, world aerospace leader.
Imitating the natural heart – given its size, the choice of structural materials, and its innovative physiological functions – CARMAT's total artificial heart could, assuming upcoming clinical trials are successful, potentially benefit the lives of tens of thousands of patients a year. In addition, it could ensure there is no risk of rejection and providing them with an unparalleled quality of life.