Realheart granted SEK 500,000 for blood research

The Winberg Foundation has awarded Realheart a grant of SEK 500,000 to further study how today’s heart pumps affect the blood in order to eliminate side effects in the next generation of artificial hearts. The research, led by Realheart’s CEO Ina Laura Perkins and Professor Michael Uhlin from the Karolinska Institute, is at the forefront of heart pump research and can shorten Realheart’s time to reach the market.

Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death globally. Heart pumps save lives, but today’s pumps cause many blood-related, often life-threatening, side effects. An important step in the development of artificial hearts is therefore to improve our understanding of how the pumps affect the blood. This is the aim of the project ’’Identifying biomarkers of blood damage caused by heart pumps’’. Its results will later be disseminated at conferences and in industry-relevant media.

’’We will introduce analysis of more parameters to study blood damage in heart pumps in greater detail. Today's heart pumps suffer from severe side effects, such as stroke and bleeding. The more knowledge we gather regarding the impact on blood in pumps in clinical use, the better opportunity we have to create the pumps of the future with gentle blood handling," said Ina Laura Perkins, CEO of Realheart.

In an earlier project funded by the Winberg Foundation, Realheart and the Karolinska Institute established a laboratory for testing heart pumps on human blood instead of animal blood, which has otherwise been the norm. A range of clinical heart pumps are already in place and tests have been performed with good results. This lays the foundation for a research platform to start analyzing more parameters of the impact of heart pumps on human blood. New funding is now being added to the project, covering expenses for equipment, blood and reagents for the lab, among other things. ’’We want to create a world leading lab for human blood testing in Sweden; one that drives development forward in the entire industry and makes it possible for Realheart to get to the market faster’’ said Ina Laura Perkins.

The Winberg Foundation operates globally and was created when Nils and Margit Winberg from Västerås, Sweden, bequeathed their assets to support research into cardiovascular diseases.