France's national drugs agency said on Wednesday it had ordered artificial heart maker Carmat to suspend further implants after a fifth patient died in October.

A spokeswoman said that the agency had requested further information from the company following the patients death, which was first reported by Europe 1 radio. The company was not immediately available for comment.

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Carmat 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.