PARIS, Jan 26 (Reuters) - France’s Carmat SA plans to sell up to 50 million euros ($56 million) of shares in three blocs to help it finance ongoing clinical trials of its artificial heart.
Bank Kepler Cheuvreux will provide the financing via a so-called contingent equity line, which consists of an immediate first tranche of 20 million euros and a further two optional chunks of 15 million euros each.
“This flexible solution will allow Carmat to focus on the success of the clinical trial programme,” Chief Executive Marcello Conviti said in a statement on Monday.
The issue price of the shares will depend on Carmat’s prevailing share price, discounted by no more than 6 percent.
Kepler Cheuvreux will subscribe to a total of 20 million euros of shares in the next 12 months. Some 303,865 new Carmat shares will be issued, or about 6.5 percent of the company’s share capital.
Carmat’s artificial heart device, which mimics a real heart using biological materials and sensors, is designed as a permanent implant that can extend life for heart failure patients without having to wait for a donor.
It also aims to reduce the side-effects often associated with heart transplants, such as blood clots and rejection.
The patients in Carmat’s first clinical trials suffer from terminal heart failure, when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to sustain the body, and would normally have only a few days or weeks to live.
Last week, a patient who was fitted with a Carmat artificial heart in August as part of clinical trials was discharged from Nantes University Hospital.
The company will publish annual results on Feb. 11. ($1 = 0.8932 euros) (Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Edmund Klamann)