Edison Awards Selects SynCardia's Freedom Portable Driver As a 2014 Innovation Finalist

The Freedom Driver Won Edison's 2013 Silver Award for Its Ability to Allow Stable Total Artificial Heart Patients to Live Life at Home Without Human Hearts

Tucson, Arizona, UNITED STATES

TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Freedom® portable driver that powers the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, has been named one of four finalists for the 2014 Edison Awards' devices section in the science/medical category.

"We are pleased that this prestigious group that recognizes innovation has named the Freedom driver a finalist for a second year," Michael P. Garippa, CEO and President of SynCardia Systems, Inc., says in making today's announcement.

The Freedom portable driver was an Edison 2013 Silver winner. It was nominated again because of pending FDA approval which will make it available to all clinically eligible U.S. SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patients.

Weighing only13.5 pounds, the Freedom portable driver allows clinically stable SynCardia Heart patients who qualify for hospital discharge to wait for a matching donor heart at home and in their communities. This saves them nearly all of their in-hospital costs for this portion of their care.

"The Freedom driver allows patients to exercise, eat homemade meals, sleep in their own beds and enjoy their community," says Garippa. "These activities can help patients get stronger for their heart transplants and lead to better outcomes."

The wearable Freedom portable driver operates the SynCardia Heart through pneumatics: precisely calibrated pulses of air and vacuum that make the SynCardia Heart pump blood throughout the patient's body. In turn, the Freedom driver is powered through lithium ion batteries that are recharged through wall power as well as power outlets in most automobiles.

The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is implanted into patients suffering from end-stage biventricular (both sides) heart failure as a bridge to heart transplant. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of heart failure.

Edison Universe, the not-for-profit parent organization of the awards, will announce the winners April 30 in San Francisco. The nominees are judged by a panel of more than 3,000 individuals, including members of seven different associations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.

CAUTION – The Freedom portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

See the full list of SynCardia awards and recognition.

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 SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure). There have been more than 1,260 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 350 patient years of life on the device.

Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia 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 failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at 97 SynCardia Certified Centers worldwide with 39 others in the process of certification.

The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through each ventricle. This high volume of blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

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

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