SynCardia Named AZ Bioscience Company of the Year

Posted: Oct. 18

SynCardia Systems, Inc., founded in 2001 to commercialize groundbreaking research done at the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona, was named “Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year” by the Arizona BioIndustry Association. The high honor comes for “doing the most to transform the world during the last 12 months” for the company that manufactures the world’s only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart.

"The Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year Award recognizes the for-profit bioscience company whose Arizona-based operations did the most to transform the world during the last 12 months," said Joan Koerber-Walker, Arizona BioIndustry Association chief executive officer. "SynCardia makes it possible for patients awaiting donor hearts to not only survive the wait but also to do so with flexibility and mobility, a feat of biomedical engineering that is world-changing for these patients."

Pioneering doctors at the Sarver Heart Center spearheaded the development of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, which became the world’s first and only total artificial heart to win FDA approval as a bridge to human heart transplant in patients near death from heart failure. Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver personally funded the initial stages of the project.

SynCardia also designed, developed, and introduced the Freedom® portable driver, the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. For the first time in U.S. history, because of this innovation, stable patients without human hearts are being discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom portable driver to power their Total Artificial Hearts.

Prior to the development of the Freedom driver, which weighs 13.5 pounds, Total Artificial Heart patients were confined to the hospital for months, sometimes years, while waiting for a heart transplant because the only FDA-approved driver for powering the Total Artificial Heart is the hospital-based "Big Blue" which weighs 418 pounds. Now, as wait times for a heart transplant continue to lengthen, the ability to discharge stable patients home is critical for both the patient and the hospital; recovery at home improves patient quality of life while eliminating most in-hospital costs for this portion of patient care.

The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

Among his proudest accomplishments, Robert Sarver helped to build the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson in memory of his late father, Jack, who was among the first to undergo heart bypass surgery. The center is now composed of more than 150 physicians and scientists and aims to prevent and cure cardiovascular diseases through the three pillars of research, education and patient care. Sarver currently sits on the center’s Board of Trustees.

The Arizona BioIndustry Association is the state affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the preeminent national association for biotechnology companies, and of AdvaMed, the largest association representing manufacturers of medical devices, diagnostic products and medical information systems.

About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart
SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure. There have been more than 950 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 230 patient years of life.

Similar to a heart transplant, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at SynCardia Certified Centers and does not require expensive anti-rejection medication, which can cause subsequent complications. It is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through both ventricles. This high volume of safe blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

SynCardia Ranked #20 Among World's 50 Most Innovative Companies,br> In March 2011, Fast Company magazine ranked SynCardia #20 in its annual list of the "World's 50 Most Innovative Companies" for "giving mobility to artificial heart recipients." Weighing 13.5 pounds, SynCardia's Freedom® portable driver is the world's first wearable driver designed to power the Total Artificial Heart both inside and outside the hospital. The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

For additional information, please visit: http://www.syncardia.com
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