TUCSON, AZ, Oct 18, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- On Oct. 13, SynCardia Systems, Inc. (www.syncardia.com), manufacturer of the world's only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart, was named "Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year" by the Arizona BioIndustry Association (AZBio).
"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 AZBio CEO Joan Koerber-Walker. "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."
SynCardia designed, developed, and introduced the Freedom(R) portable driver, the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. For the first time in U.S. history, 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. Weighing 13.5 pounds, 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.
Prior to the development of the Freedom driver, U.S. Total Artificial Heart patients were confined to the hospital for months, sometimes years, while they waited for a heart transplant because the only FDA-approved driver for powering the Total Artificial Heart is hospital-based "Big Blue" which weighs 418 pounds.
Life for a stable Total Artificial Heart patient confined to the hospital is emotionally, physically and financially draining for them, their family and the hospital. 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 other two finalists for the award were Calimmune, Inc., which is developing innovative cell-based therapies for treating HIV, and VisionGate, which has developed an automated 3D cell imaging platform to help detect lung cancer sooner.
AZBio 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, the Total is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure). More than 950 implants account 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. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular heart failure and pumps 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.
Fast Company ranked SynCardia#20 among the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies "for giving mobility to artificial heart recipients."
Website: www.syncardia.com SynCardia on Facebook Twitter: @SynCardia SynCardia on LinkedIn
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