CorWave develops innovative implantable blood pumps for cardiac assistance.
60 million people suffer from heart failure worldwide. Their prognosis is poor, with lower survival rates than most cancers. A small portion of advanced heart failure patients will receive a heart transplant, but the lack of donors means many patients will die while waiting. For these patients, a device that assists the heart can help, either in allowing them to receive a transplant, or in providing additional years of active life. LVADs (Left Ventricular Assist Devices) are devices that meet this urgent clinical need. The worldwide market is estimated at around US$1 billion.
Currently available technologies have demonstrated that mechanical pumps can significantly extend the life of advanced heart failure patients. However, patients implanted with current devices frequently experience severe adverse events, which result in re-admissions to hospital and reduced quality of life. The CorWave technology aims at reducing these adverse events, significantly improving quality of life for these patients and reducing the overall cost of providing the therapy.
How does it work? All current LVADs are based on rotary pumps, acting very much like the impeller of a motorboat when it propels the ship in water. These devices create a continuous blood flow (patients do not have a pulse anymore), which is associated with severe adverse advents. The CorWave pump is based on a unique proprietary technology: it uses an oscillating membrane to displace blood, mimicking the swimming motion of marine animals. This propulsion is much gentler for the blood, and generates a physiological pulsatile blood flow, to significantly reduce adverse event rates in LVAD patients.
CorWave is currently in pre-clinical validation phase and getting ready for its First-In-Human clinical trial.