Artificial hearts and cardiac assistances: the French Carmat and CorWave at their best

While the French company Carmat is preparing to market its totally artificial heart, its compatriot CorWave, which develops innovative cardiac assistance devices, announces a strong fundraising.

Carmat: total artificial heart of French design

The good news is linked for Carmat. After the first successful implantation of one of its artificial hearts in Denmark, in May 2020, the French company obtained on December 23 the precious CE marking for its total artificial heart, henceforth recognized as a “bridge to the transplantation”. Enough to remove the last barrier to its marketing throughout Europe.

Specifically, Carmat announced on January 6, 2021 that the marketing phase could begin in the second quarter of 2021, targeting more particularly France and Germany, which together represent 55% of the market for mechanical circulatory assistance (MCS) devices in the European Union. The company said in a statement that its artificial heart “will be marketed under the Aeson brand”.

“In 2021, we plan to focus our efforts on Germany and France, which represent more than half of these patients. We could also cover other countries recognizing the European CE marking in a more opportunistic way ”, detailed the general manager of Carmat, Stéphane Piat, quoted in the press release. This marking “represents a very important market opportunity with at least 2,000 patients suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure currently on the waiting lists for a heart transplant in five main European countries”, specifies Carmat.

A heart pump inspired by the movement of a fish’s fin

Good news also from the French company CorWave, which develops innovative cardiac assistance devices: in a press release, CorWave announced on Wednesday that it had raised 35 million euros. The young company resulting from the MD Start fund announced in November 2016 its first fundraising (for 15.5 million euros at the time), in order to develop its heart pump whose mechanism is inspired by the fin of a fish.

“The capital increase is subscribed by the historical investors, joined by EIC Fund: the venture capital fund of the European Commission makes with CorWave the very first investment in its history, which gives birth to a shareholder Europe”, specifies the CorWave press release.

Endowed with 3.6 billion euros, EIC Fund brings 15 million euros to the fundraising campaign and “demonstrates the importance for the European Union of bringing about the emergence of world-class companies in cutting-edge fields such as technologies medical ”, highlights CorWave.

The company, whose objective is “to become a world-class medtech”, stresses that these funds will allow it to enter “into a new phase of development” and “to finalize its device, to produce implantable heart pumps. in humans and start clinical trials ”.

Simulate the physiological functioning of the heart to limit side effects

The corrugating diaphragm pump developed by CorWave (a company founded in 2012 and employing around fifty people) is a circulatory assistance device that differs from left ventricular assistance devices (LVAD) today marketed by its physiological functioning. Understand that it is able, in particular, to reproduce a pulse and blood flow speeds similar to those of a healthy heart.

Read alsoVideo: CorWave, a heart pump invented in France

“CorWave is now in a very good position to seize a market opportunity worth several billion euros,” said Gérard Hascoët, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CorWave, quoted in the press release.

“This round of funding of 35 million euros gives us the means to achieve our ambitions. We have thus developed the most advanced circulatory assistance device in the world ”, added Louis de Lillers, CEO of CorWave.

Professor Pascal Leprince, head of the cardiac surgery department at Pitié-Salpêtrière, also quoted in the press release, indicates that “as a center very involved in the treatment of heart failure, we welcome this announcement. CorWave is moving forward in a reasoned way to achieve a product which will soon arrive in the clinic and which should mark a turning point in the history of circulatory assistance ”.

(With AFP.)