CARMAT SAS, a start-up developing a total artificial heart for use in late-stage heart failure has announced that the European Commission has authorised Oséo (the French state innovation agency) to award €33 million in funding to its research and development programme. The company, together with four industrial partners, is developing a totally implantable device and the associated electrical supply and telediagnostic system.
CARMAT is leading the project with support from Vignal Artru Industries, PaxiTech, Dédienne Santé and HEF R&D, and many small subcontractors. The five year development programme has a total eligible budget of €74 million. The €33 million in public funding will primarily go to CARMAT.
“At present, CARMAT is developing the most advanced total artificial heart in the world and we were very pleased to learn of the European Commission’s decision. It confirms the highly innovative nature of the … technology and the importance of the global public heath issue that we are addressing,” commented the company’s President, Jean-Claude Cadudal.
Competition Commissioner, Neele Kroes, said, “Thanks to the very innovative programme, within a few years Europe will have an implantable artificial heart that will significantly improve life expectancy and quality of life for thousands of patients.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide (17.5 million deaths in 2005, representing 30% of the total). For patients suffering terminal heart failure, there are no solutions other than transplantation. But the number of available organs is far too low and is steadily decreasing. In addition, a broad range of contra-indications means that transplantation is not an option for many patients.Annie Ellerton