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Caranx Medical Innovates in Robotic-Assisted Heart Valve Implantation

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Key Points

  1. World First: Nice-based Caranx Medical successfully performs robotic-assisted heart valve implantation on an animal.
  2. Potential Impact on Cardiology: The technology could simplify complex procedures, increasing precision and safety.
  3. Promising Future: The approach could be tested on humans as early as 2025, redefining cardiac interventions.

Supported by a high-level team of executives and experts and backed by Truffle Capital, a European leader in investing in biotechnologies and medical devices, Caranx Medical is a French medical device company founded by Dr. Eric Sejor, CMO, Pierre Berthet-Rayne, CTO, and Dr. Philippe Pouletty and Truffle Capital, with the ambition to become a global leader in robotic-assisted transcatheter heart valve implantation.

Established in Nice in 2021 with the support of Team Nice Côte d’Azur, Caranx Medical laboratories were winners in the health category of the i-Nov innovation competition nd received a grant of €1.6 million for their Asclépios project, totaling an investment of nearly €4.6 million. The project aims to develop a flexible robot with artificial intelligence to simplify bariatric surgery, making it accessible to more practitioners.

Caranx Medical (“Caranx”), a French medical device company specializing in the development of autonomous robots to democratize access to transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), a life-saving procedure, announces today the success of the world’s first robotic-assisted heart valve implantation in an animal.

The animal’s heart valve implantation was successfully performed by Dr. Stéphane Lopez, a cardiac surgeon at the Institut Arnaud Tzank, Dr. Eric Sejor, CMO of Caranx, Pierre Berthet-Rayne, CTO of Caranx, and the Caranx team.

“This groundbreaking achievement is the result of teamwork. At Caranx Medical, we are determined to improve patients’ lives through radical innovation. This successful robotic transcatheter implantation of an aortic valve marks the first step of a new generation of intelligent AI-guided robots set to transform healthcare as we know it,” says Pierre Berthet-Rayne, CTO of Caranx.

This medical first is not only a technical feat by Caranx Medical’s engineers but also has a significant impact on the practice of interventional cardiology. By simplifying and standardizing a complex procedure, the robot we have developed opens up new possibilities for improving the performance and safety of TAVI procedures,” says Eric Sejor, CMO of Caranx.

The TAVI procedure was adopted around 20 years ago, and cardiologists still face significant challenges and long learning curves in these procedures to achieve precise and accurate valve placement. As a result, only 300,000 TAVI procedures are performed each year in the US and EU, while over 1.7 million patients are waiting to be treated. The procedure’s difficulty also leads to certain complications, such as the frequent need for pacemakers after the intervention due to a lack of precision in implant placement.

“It is with logic that we prove, and with intuition that we find.” “This quote from Henri Poincaré perfectly summarizes the work of the Caranx team, who had the intuition that robotics combined with artificial intelligence and imaging could improve the results of artificial heart valve implantations. During this first robotic implantation on a porcine model, the sensations were very close to those observed during a conventional procedure on our patients. There is no doubt that the use of robotics coupled with artificial intelligence and imaging will improve the safety, precision, and reproducibility of the procedure in humans,” declares Dr. Stéphane Lopez, of the Institut Arnault Tzanck, in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France, who performs over 400 TAVI procedures per year.

“The Caranx team has taken an important step by successfully deploying a balloon-expandable device in the aortic position on a porcine model. This extremely promising step paves the way for the first use in humans. I am very enthusiastic about robot-assisted TAVI/TAVR, which is the key to harmonizing practices and modernizing valve deployment in a more reliable and controlled manner. Our patients will undoubtedly benefit from this revolutionary technology in the future,” declares Dr. Didier Tchétché, of the Clinique Pasteur in Toulouse, France, who performs over 1,000 TAVI procedures per year.

According to Frost and Sullivan, the TAVI market represents $8 billion and is growing at a double-digit rate annually.

“Thanks to Caranx’s technology and impressive team, interventional cardiology and physicians can hope for what airplanes and pilots have benefited from for decades: reliable, supervised automation, with imaging and AI for medicine imitating satellite/GPS systems for piloting,” declares Dr. Philippe Pouletty, founder of Caranx and CEO of Truffle Capital.

Caranx Medical’s robotic solution, TAVI-PILOT, is a simple and easy-to-use robotic system that promises precise, accurate, and autonomous valve positioning and implantation. TAVI-PILOT is a revolution for aortic valve replacement, whose access is restricted as it is reserved for the most experienced cardiologists. Just as robots for soft tissues have multiplied the number of urologists capable of performing minimally invasive surgical ablation of the prostate, TAVI-PILOT will multiply the number of interventional cardiologists capable of safely performing this life-saving intervention.

“This is a major advancement made by the Caranx team over the past few months. However, we do not intend to stop at aortic valve replacement. Our vision extends to the development of our artificial intelligence platform, which is fed by more than 5,000 multimodal images of scanners, fluoroscopy, echo, reports, etc., to revolutionize other endovascular indications, such as mitral and tricuspid valve replacements or even other endoluminal procedures, thus reshaping the landscape of interventional medicine,” declares Jorgen Hansen, CEO of Caranx.


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