In France, heart failure affects 1.5 million people a year, and 200,000 patients with acute heart failure are hospitalized every year, according to the official Assurance Maladie website. Our country, like the rest of the world, has been faced for years with a shortage of organs and tissues, while the need for transplants continues to grow (cf Agence de Biomédecine). The extent of the shortage means that new, innovative therapeutic options need to be sought, and one of the alternatives being studied is xenotransplantation.
This involves the transplantation of an organ from a donor of a different species to that of the recipient. In this case, we’re talking about a genetically modified animal heart (pig). Although this technique has been tried and tested throughout the 20th century, it now appears to be a possible way of overcoming the shortage of transplants. Nevertheless, this alternative is the subject of much debate. Over and above the ethical problems it raises – can animals be “used” to save human life? it also poses a problem of physiological acceptance of an animal organ, and that of serious viral transmissions. In January 2022, during a new xenotransplantation, a retrovirus integrated into the pig’s genome infected the patient, who died: read the article to find out more.
The artificial heart is a therapeutic option that is currently presented as a last-resort solution, which can replace the natural heart while waiting for a heart transplant. But as the market grows and more and more innovations are developed, this alternative promises great hope for patient survival !
In addition, Procope Medicals aims to become a key player in cardiovascular healthcare. A medtech startup since 2018, we design a bi-ventricular cardiac prosthesis, based on patented technology, capable of reducing infectious risks and optimizing the surgical gesture, guaranteeing an artificial heart compatible with a maximum of adult morphologies and thus offering the best possible quality of life for patients.