Australian government offers grant support to artificial heart programme


BiVACOR, a clinical-stage medical device company, has announced that US$13 million has been awarded from the Australian government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant through the Artificial Heart Frontiers Program (AHFP) to support BiVACOR’s total artificial heart programme and future product enhancements.

Led by Monash University, the AHFP is comprised of a consortium of research centers in Australia in collaboration with BiVACOR. The US$13 million grant comes from a larger AU$50 million grant from the MRFF to the AHFP to develop and commercialise devices to treat the most common forms of severe heart failure and bring new solutions to underserved patients.

The award will support clinical work of the BiVACOR total artificial heart (TAH) and begin development for the integration of wireless power sources for the device.

A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-granted investigational device exemption (IDE) first-in-human early feasibility study (EFS) for BiVACOR’s total artificial heart is slated to begin in the first half of 2024, working with William E Cohn and OH Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute (Houston, USA).

“There is a huge gap between available treatment options and the number of patients with severe heart failure. Initiating human clinical work for the BiVACOR TAH is the first step to address critical patient needs from this non-curative disease,” said Daniel Timms, BiVACOR founder and chief technology officer. “We are honoured to be a part of the Artificial Heart Frontiers programme, working with our close partners: lead institution Monash University, The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, and Griffith University, as well as our clinical partners, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, and The Alfred Hospital. The Australian government’s investment further validates the dire need for innovation in this field. It is a testament to the promise of our technology to bring these life-saving devices to market over the next few years.”

“Heart failure is a chronic progressive condition in which patients suffer from debilitating symptoms, including persistent breathlessness and fatigue, that frequently require hospitalisation at great cost to a patient’s quality of life and the health system,” said project co-lead and director of cardiology at The Alfred, David Kaye, who also leads the Monash Alfred Baker Centre for Cardiovascular Research. “The average survival of a heart failure patient is comparable to some cancers at just five years and is even less for patients with advanced heart failure, who are the people our devices will most benefit.”


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