Carmat to give fourth patient artificial heart within three months

Carmat will equip a fourth patient with an artificial heart within three months at most, one of the company's founders told BFM television on Wednesday.

The French company is conducting trials of its heart device that is designed as a permanent implant to extend the life of patients without them having to wait for a human heart donor.

Carmat's first transplant patient, a 76-year-old man, died in March last year, two-and-a-half months after his operation.

A second patient died on May 2, nine months after receiving the transplant. Carmat said his death was due to a technical problem with the controls of the motor.

A third patient, who was fitted with the device on April 8, is undertaking physiotherapy.

"The fourth patient will undergo surgery once everything has been analysed and the engineers are able to tell me: go ahead, we've checked everything, everything's fixed, the new device won't (encounter) the same issues as the previous ones," Alain Carpentier, who invented the device, told BFM.

If the third and fourth patients survive the transplants, Carmat will launch wider clinical tests involving about 20 patients spread across Europe, a prerequisite to its commercialization within the European Union.