* Carmat shares down nearly 30 pct so far in 2016
* Confident over resumption of implants - CEO (Adds details)
PARIS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Artificial heart-maker Carmat is ‘rather confident’ on the resumption of implants in the final-stage clinical trial for its artificial hearts, its chief executive Stephane Piat said on Tuesday.
France’s national drugs agency, ANSM, ordered Carmat to suspend further implants earlier this month following the death of a patient in October.
“In the light of the data we collected with the fifth patient, the data are very encouraging,” Piat said on French radio BFM Business. “That’s why I am rather confident today,” he added, concerning the resumption of the clinical trial program.
The data were among subjects discussed at the company’s board meeting that took place on Monday, he added.
“Until further notice, (further implants) are... suspended, we are in the process of answering ANSM’s questions and we hope to be able to resume rather soon,” Piat said.
Carmat, whose biggest shareholders included planemaker Airbus and private equity fund Truffle Capital, has not generated any significant revenue but is closely followed by investors as heart diseases represent a leading cause of death worldwide and its devices could represent a major medical breakthrough if proven reliable.
Carmat shares were down 0.2 percent in early session trading, with the stock down by around 30 percent so far in 2016 - underperforming a 14 percent fall on the broader STOXX Europe 600 healthcare index. (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)