(Reuters) — Trading in Carmat (FRA:CXT) shares was suspended today after the company’s 2nd artificial heart patient died May 2, 9 months after receiving the transplant.
A source close to the matter said the Euronext stock exchange granted the suspension to give medical teams time to pinpoint the reasons for the death, and that a statement could be issued after the market’s close.
An abnormality was discovered with the device after the 69-year-old man was admitted to hospital May 1, suffering circulatory failure, and he was placed in intensive care, Carmat said yesterday.
The hospital in Nantes, France, said in a statement today that the patient was given "cardio-respiratory assistance in the reanimation unit." An operation was conducted on the patient the following day but he died later in the afternoon. the hospital said.
In April, the patient told weekly Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview he had never felt so good and was leading a normal life, including physical exercise, 8 months after his transplant. The patient was discharged from the hospital in January.
"This new case does not put into question Carmat’s artificial heart proof of concept but could raise uncertainties over whether the device will be approved for destination therapy," Exane BNP analysts said in a note to investors.
They cut their rating on Carmat shares to "neutral" from "outperform" and their target price to €54. The stock closed yesterday at €71.24 euros.
Carmat 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.
The company’s 1st transplant patient, a 76-year-old man, died in March last year, 2½ months after his operation.