CorAct Advanced Technologies is developing the first fully implantable, self-sustaining, blood contact-free Cardiac Assist Device (CAD)
– a life-supporting therapy for end-stage heart failure patients.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) diseases affect more than 12 million patients and cause more than 7 million deaths each year. Although ventricular assist devices provide cardiac mechanical support that can keep end-stage CHF patients alive while they wait for heart transplantation, only 12,000 such devices have been implanted worldwide.
According to the American Heart Association, in 2013 nearly 6.6 million Americans suffered from heart failure and it is estimated that 600,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. In 2014 approximately 2,431 heart transplants were conducted and, as of February 2015, the number of people awaiting heart transplantation was 3,986.
The Burden on Healthcare Systems
The most recent national spending projections from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services forecast that healthcare spending in the US will grow at an average annual rate of 5.7% from 2011 through 2021. The American Heart Association estimates that the annual medical cost of heart failure patients in the US is about $26 billion and recent projections show cardiovascular care cost tripling from $272.5 billion in 2010 to an estimated $818.1 billion in 2030. Economic pressure is driving the healthcare industry to adopt new paradigms of care that meet the needs of more people at lower costs. The CorAct assist device is a therapeutic device that cost effectively meets an unmet clinical need.
CorAct’s hydro-mechanical system “presses” on the outer layer of the heart to enhance its physiological contractility.
Systolic heart failure occurs when the left ventricle no longer efficiently pumps blood out to the body. CorAct’s cardiac assist system consists of two external elements that are attached to the heart via a silicon “belt” that wraps around the outer wall of the left and right ventricles. The system is designed to assist the heart to complete an entire contraction cycle in perfect synchronization with the patient’s heart rate. The system does not have contact with the patient’s bloodstream, which is both cost-effective and clinically advantageous.
Current cardiac assist devices are tiny implanted pumps that transfer blood from the failed ventricle to major arteries. The implantation procedure requires the use of a heart-lung machine, with its well-documented risks. In addition, the patient will have to take anti coagulation medication over the long term to overcome the life-threatening clotting that results from the metal pump being identified as a foreign body. This prolonged medication regime is both expensive and can cause internal bleeding elsewhere.