This week French medical device startup CARMAT issued a press release announcing that the recipient of the first artificial heart, a 76 year-old man with a terminal heart condition diagnosed with days or weeks to live, passed away 75 days after the transplant was done. Calling the transplant a success (they have formally defined success in this case as anyone who lives more than a month after the surgery, a relatively long time considering the terminal diagnosis, which usually revolves around patients whose hearts become too weak to pump blood through the body), the Paris startup also announced that there are at least 3 more patients in line for transplant in the near future.
Should the next three trials be successful (again, patients surviving more than 30 days), CARMAT says they will open the trials up to 20 more patients – demand obviously outpaces supply at this point.
“The doctors directly involved in the post-surgical care wish to highlight the value of the lessons learned from this first clinical trial, with regard to the selection of the patient, his surveillance, the prevention and treatment of difficulties encountered,” – Hospital spokesperson
Founded by surgeon Alain Charpentier, the startup represents a huge advancement in the effort to prolong life.