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SynCardia Named Innovator of the Year by the 2014 Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awards for Its Freedom Portable Driver

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SynCardia Systems, Inc., has been recognized with the 2014 Innovator of the Year Award for Small Companies presented by the Arizona Technology Council in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority.

The 11th annual Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awards honor technology and innovation leaders throughout Arizona. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer provided opening remarks for the awards ceremony. SynCardia was honored for its Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart that the company also manufactures.

See the Freedom portable driver and more…

More than 200 SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patients worldwide have received the Freedom portable driver for over 120 patient years of support. Following the Total Artificial Heart implant, close to 70% of patients received the Freedom portable driver and were discharged from the hospital.

"The work that SynCardia Systems is doing to save lives with artificial hearts is extraordinary and we congratulate them on receiving the award," said Steven G. Zylstra, President and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. "It's this type of innovation that will help Arizona build the type of economy needed to sustain real wealth and compete on a global stage."

Once a SynCardia Heart implant patient is clinically stable, the patient can be switched to the 13.5-pound Freedom portable driver, which can be worn in a backpack, carried in a shoulder bag or wheeled on a cart. That gives the patient nearly limitless mobility and allows the patient to be discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home and in the community.

The Freedom portable driver was approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration June 26, 2014. It earned the CE Mark for use in Europe March 1, 2010. It received approval for use by Health Canada May 25, 2011.

"We are honored to have won this prestigious statewide award," says Michael P. Garippa, SynCardia's CEO and President. "SynCardia was founded in Tucson, Arizona, by innovative surgeons and others associated with the University of Arizona. Our mission is to save the lives of people dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure."

The company is working with the FDA to conduct clinical trials on a smaller SynCardia Heart. Once the trial is conducted and the results approved by the FDA, the 50cc, together with the current 70cc, will provide access to the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart to practically all adults and most adolescents.

SynCardia is working with the FDA  to conduct clinical trials for the use of the SynCardia Heart for permanent use, also called destination therapy, for patients who cannot qualify for a matching donor heart transplant.

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About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart

SynCardia Systems, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona is the privately-held owner and manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart.

Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure in which both ventricles can no longer pump enough blood for a person to survive.

More than 1,350 implants of the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart accounts for over 400 patient years of life on the device. Since January 2010 more than 500 SynCardia Hearts have been implanted.

SynCardia Systems also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Heart while allowing clinically stable patients to leave the hospital to live at home and in their communities. The wearable Freedom driver has been used by over 200 patients, accounting for over 120 years of support.

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SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.
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