Artificial heart developer CARMAT beats €40.5 million funding goal

Developer of the world’s most advanced artificial heart successfully raises €40.5 million towards the production of Aeson artificial heart.

CARMAT, the developer of the world’s most advanced completely artificial heart has successfully raised €40.5 million in funding. The raise is set to finance the production of their Aeson artificial heart, which the company hopes will provide an alternative treatment option for people with heart failure – a condition affecting around 6.2 million adults in the US alone [1].

Longevity.Technology: Beating around 100,000 times per day, your heart works around the clock to keep your circulatory system ticking. The steady sound of your heartbeat is a comforting constant throughout your life. Forming the centre of the circulatory system, the heart continuously pumps blood around the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells. Due to this constant work, our hearts can unfortunately wear out as we age, with cardiovascular diseases continuing to be the leading causes of death globally [2].

End-stage heart failure is a serious condition that occurs when the heart can no longer transport blood throughout the body effectively. It most often affects the left chamber of the heart, which pumps oxygen-rich blood around the body, leading to biventricular heart failure. Vital organs like the brain, liver and kidney fail to get enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly. With few treatment options, end-stage heart failure sometimes requires serious intervention like heart transplantation – considered the gold standard therapy. However, due to the global shortage in organ donors, this is not always possible and there is a gap for a therapeutic alternative that could have huge implications for longevity globally.

Hope for artificial hearts

While growing personalised organs in a lab remains in the realms of science fiction, companies like CARMAT are working to bring these concepts closer to reality by providing an alternative treatment to people with end-stage heart failure. Founded in 2008, the French medtech company designs and manufactures the Aeson, a completely artificial heart.

CARMAT’s ambitious aim is for the Aeson to become the first viable alternative to a heart transplant – a risky procedure that is made more complicated by the short supply of human grafts. The Aeson is highly compatible with blood and pulsates by itself, imitating the human heartbeat and restoring normal blood flow from the heart throughout the body. It is powered by a portable external power bank that remains connected to the implanted heart.

The artificial heart could allow patients with end-stage heart failure greater quality of life and a solution for a condition with few effective treatment options. While not a perfect solution, it holds the potential to prolong the lives of the thousands of people who patiently wait for a heart transplant. The Aeson is currently commercially available in the European Union and in the US under clinical trials, acting as a bridge for patients awaiting a human heart transplant.

Funding artificial heart production

The €40.5 million in new funding raised by CARMAT will go towards the resumption of Aeson production and implantation, scheduled for October of this year, which was suspended in 2021 due to quality concerns. The funding was raised as a ‘Global Offering’ using the PrimaryBid funding platform, and comprises €36.5 million from specialised and strategic investors and €4.1 million from individuals. Combined with the company’s existing investments, the funding will prolong production of the Aeson heart until March 2023.

“I would like to thank all of our investors, both historical and new, for their contribution to the success of this important financing for CARMAT,” said Stéphane Piat, CEO of CARMAT. “The funds raised will allow us to calmly focus, during the coming months, on the resumption of implants of our Aeson artificial heart.

“We are one step closer to our goal of making Aeson the number 1 alternative to a heart transplant, and thus of providing a genuine solution for the many patients suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure who currently have no therapeutic options.”