Sunday, December 22, 2013

Artificial heart: an epic that dates back nearly thirty years - Echoes

After a first transplant in 1986, Professor Carpentier created Carmat supported by Lagardère.



There are nearly thirty years since started this great human adventure. Specifically in February 1986, when Professor Alain Carpentier and surgeon Louis Dreyfus perform the first transplant of an artificial heart in France. It then allows the patient, aged forty-two years, to take up waiting for a compatible donor. Since then, the specialist known for inventing the heart valves has never ceased to improve the process, with the idea to develop an autonomous artificial heart, which can overcome the lack of organ graft. I could not stand to see men, young and active, die at forty a massive myocardial infarction ,” he explained.

After meeting with Jean-Luc Lagardère, the inventor will work out of sight discreetly, for fifteen years, the creation of a first prototype. GIE called “Carmat” – alliance Carpentier and Matra – was launched in 1993. It is thanks to the unwavering support of industrial that this discovery will remain French. In 1960, Alain Carpentier was forced to appeal to the U.S. to finance its business Edwards valvular bioprostheses. “When Jean-Luc Lagardère has opened the doors of Matra, only if I asked him to meet was to keep absolute confidentiality.

Staying independent

new direction was taken in 2008. The company Carmat is brought to the baptismal font, while EADS continued to support the project after the death of Jean-Luc Lagardère in 2003. She gets funding Truffle funds and public funds, in addition to using its traditional partners, the aerospace group and Carpentier Foundation. Its IPO in 2010 enables it to conduct its first clinical trials. The cost of developing an artificial heart is ten to twenty times less than that of a drug, because the tests can only relate to a small number of patients, the results are final. Today Carmat weighs nearly 440 million market capitalization. The start-up has made two new fundraisers and received a grant of € 33 million from OSEO (France BPI Financing). Its objective is to remain independent, before marketing the first artificial heart, waited more than 100,000 patients in Europe and the United States.

Written by Dominique Chapuis

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