Carmat is searching for its second artificial heart patient

Schematic of Carmat's artificial heart--Courtesy of Carmat

France's Carmat, undaunted by the death of the first patient implanted with its artificial heart, expects to make a second attempt in another individual fairly soon.

Agence France-Presse reported the company will seek out another patient for its implant within several weeks, in an ongoing effort to test whether the device can serve as a long-term treatment option. But Carmat must still determine why its first patient--a 76-year-old man--died after surviving 74 days with the implant, which is made partially with bovine tissue. A detailed postmortem analysis is ongoing, Carmat co-founder Philippe Pouletty told Europe 1 radio, according to the story.

What's more, Pouletty is quoted as saying in the story that the company is searching for a suitable patient, and that the effort will take some time.

Overall, Carmat hopes to test its artificial heart in four patients. The clinical trials will be considered a success if each survives for at least one month, the AFP reported.

Carmat has said that the use of bovine tissue for its artificial heart could help avoid clotting issues that have dogged the success of previous artificial hearts. The device is designed to last as long as 5 years, powered by an externally worn battery. If Carmat succeeds, it sees its device as expanding the artificial heart market to 125,000 patients each year, from about 4,000 patients today.

- read the full AFP story

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