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First Carmat Heart Patient Dies 74 Days After Implant

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March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Carmat SAS said the first patient implanted with the company’s artificial heart died after surviving for 74 days with the prosthetic device.

The 76-year-old man received the implant at Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris last December, according to the company. Carmat “saluted the courage and pioneering role of this patient and his family” in an e-mail late yesterday.

Drawing any conclusions about the prosthetic heart’s safety from the case of a single patient is “premature,” the French company said in the statement. Carmat plans to implant another four volunteers who have no therapeutic alternative and to follow those cases to evaluate the device.

Carmat stock was suspended in Paris at the company’s request. It gained almost 10 percent on Dec. 23, the first trading day after the implant was announced.

The company, based in Velizy-Villacoublay near Paris, designed the device for patients with terminal heart failure who can’t get a human organ for a transplant. About 17.3 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2008 and that number may rise to 23.3 million by 2030, the World Health Organization estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Albertina Torsoli in Geneva at atorsoli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net