Newspaper article International New York Times

Recipient of Artificial Heart Is Well Enough to Go Home

Newspaper article International New York Times

Recipient of Artificial Heart Is Well Enough to Go Home

Article excerpt

The news, reported by Carmat, the French company that developed the device, signals a milestone toward possible commercialization of the implant.

A patient who received an artificial heart in August has recovered sufficiently to return home, the French company that made the device said on Monday, signaling a milestone toward the possible commercialization of the implant.

"It's incredible, there's no other word for it," Alain F. Carpentier, the French surgeon who invented the device, said in an interview posted Monday on the website of Le Parisien, a French daily newspaper.

The patient, 68, "is living a completely normal life now," Dr. Carpentier said, adding that the man had been "pedaling like crazy" on a stationary bike. The patient has asked that his identity remain confidential, the company said.

The man, who had terminal congestive heart failure, received the implant at the University of Nantes hospital on Aug. 5, according to Carmat, the medical device start-up founded in part by Dr. Carpentier. The patient was discharged with a portable external power and alert system that leaves him with "mobility and autonomy in excellent conditions."

Carmat is among a handful of companies trying to realize the dream of a permanent artificial replacement heart, a technology that might one day extend tens of thousands of lives. Scientists have been seeking to develop a total artificial heart for decades. In 1982, the Jarvik-7 was the first to be successfully implanted in a human.

Carmat, which is based in the Paris suburb of Velizy- Villacoublay, was founded in 2008 to develop what it termed a "bioprosthetic total artificial heart." Dr. Carpentier, a world- renowned expert on valve replacement, and his team are receiving technological help from Airbus Group, the aircraft maker, which has provided financial backing.

Other backers include the venture investor Truffle Capital and Bpifrance, a French government innovation fund. …

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