Heart diseases such as chronic and acute heart failure are considered to be among the world’s leading causes of death. By designing and developing the world’s first-ever most advanced total artificial heart, Paris-based CARMAT aims to fulfil the unmet medical need to people suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure.
In a recent development, CARMAT announced that it had received the CE marking for its artificial heart system. The CE marking was granted on December 22, 2020, to its total artificial heart system as a bridge to transplant in patients suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure (Intermacs Classes 1-4) who are not amenable to maximal medical therapy or the LVAD1 and who are likely to undergo a heart transplant in the 180 days following implantation.
Eyes to ramp up production
The CE marking lets CARMAT market its total artificial heart system in all countries, including those from the European Union that recognise the certification. The company will accelerate the production of this artificial heart system and launch the same commercially in the second quarter of this year. Eventually, it will offer a solution to numerous patients waiting for a heart transplant.
Stéphane Piat, Chief Executive Officer of CARMAT, says, “The CE Marking is great news for patients and a major milestone for CARMAT. As early as January, we will accelerate the ramp-up of our manufacturing activities and intensify discussions with our core target customers in order to achieve a smooth commercial launch during the second quarter of 2021, and thus offer a solution to many patients waiting for a heart transplant.”
After the company obtained its CE marking, its shares posted their biggest gain in more than seven years, according to Bloomberg. In late December 2020, the stock climbed 34 per cent to €32.05 in Paris after rising as much as 50 per cent – its steepest intraday gain since May 2013. In 2020, the company’s shares advanced 66 per cent, providing the company with a market value of about €407M ($ 496M).
With the artificial heart system, CARMAT intends to overcome the shortfall in heart transplants faced by tens of thousands of people suffering from irreversible end-stage heart failure. The company is run by the medical expertise of Alain Carpentier – known for inventing Carpentier-Edwards heart valves – and the technological expertise of the Airbus Group.
Last year, in October, the company was granted €13M in funding by the French Ministry of Health and Solidarity to conduct the EFICAS clinical study, already approved by the HAS (the French health authority) in April 2020.
Through the budget agreement with the French Ministry of Health and Solidarity, two-thirds of the total cost of the EFICAS study will be funded by the French state, which represents non-dilutive financing of €13M for CARMAT.
According to the company, it has been granted the largest subsidy ever given to an SME by Bpifrance; a total of €33m, with the backing of the European Commission.
CARMAT is backed by Matra Défense SAS (a subsidiary of the Airbus Group), Professor Alain Carpentier, the Centre Chirurgical Marie Lannelongue, Truffle Capital, a leading European venture capital firm, ALIAD (Air Liquide’s venture capital investor), CorNovum (an investment holding company held 50-50 by Bpifrance and the French State), the family offices of Pierre Bastid (Lohas), Dr Antonino Ligresti (Santé Holdings S.R.L.), the Gaspard family (Corely Belgium SPRL and Bratya SPRL) and M. Pierre-Edouard Stérin (BAD 21 SPRL), Groupe Therabel as well as the thousands of institutional and individual shareholders.
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