Some word by our Chairman Goran Hellers
There is no doubt that there is a significant clinical need for options for patients with severe heart disease. In Sweden alone, there are 200 000 patients with heart failure, of whom 2 000 are permanently hospitalized. The shortage of hearts for transplantation is so great that are not put on the transplant list, unless the patient is judged to survive less than a year without a heart transplant.
During my time as head of the Department of Surgery at the Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, I met many patients who were affected by heart disease, someone’s mother or father, brother or sister, or child. This is particularly evident for patients who are on the emergency list, i.e. patients who only expected to live only a few weeks. One in three children who is put on the transplant list in Sweden die because there is no donor. When I came into contact with Scandinavian Real Heart AB in 2013 I was therefore very interested and felt that I wanted to get involved in the project.
After 16 years of research and development in cooperation with renowned companies, cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and engineers, Scandinavian Real Heart has completed the most important early development stages. We have now, in collaboration with leading Swedish engineers, made an artificial heart that mimics the biological principle of the heart with four chambers, and our animal trials trial show that it produces the same flow, pressure and steering. The key to a successful product is judged to be right here, in imitating the natural structure that in itself prevents the formation of blood clots.
However, we have some further steps to take before we can prove that the heart is working properly in patients and produces significantly fewer complications than current alternatives. We have developed a new energy efficient driving system for the pump in cooperation with SKF. The efficiency is about 90 percent, which open up the option for advanced battery solutions for energy supply.
We have developed pump model number 10 and the next step is now to test this in ethically approved long-term animal model. The intention is to carry out the studies that were legally required to for later doing human clinical trials. We will eventually complete the CE certification of the pump. When the pump is verified in humans we will launch international marketing mainly done to the world’s 75 000 cardiac surgeons through large international congresses.
Scandinavian Real Heart has attracted both a strong board that a competent project team and we are therefore in a good situation to reach our project goals. With our product on the market patients waiting for a donated heart would have considerably increased waiting time until a donor heart is available. At the same time the patient’s quality of life and mobility improved. It increases the likelihood to find a suitable heart can be donated. In the longer term, we however hope that Real Heart to become a more permanent solution for patients who, for various reasons, cannot get a donated heart.
Welcome to invest in a Swedish artificial heart that could save lives!
Chairman – Scandinavian Real Heart AB
PhD and Associate Professor of Surgery – Karolinska Institutet