SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the CardioWest™ temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t), has honored Mayo Clinic Arizona and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center as CardioWest 100% Centers for 2007.

Both hospitals bridged 100% of their patients who received a CardioWest artificial heart to a donor heart transplant in 2007. Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan, Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery for VCU Medical Center, has reached this milestone two years in row. Since VCU Medical Center became CardioWest certified on April 3, 2006, they have bridged eight of their CardioWest patients to transplant - four in 2006 and four in 2007.

"SynCardia's CardioWest TAH-t is capable of supporting the sickest of patients with outstanding survival," said Dr. Kasirajan. "We are honored to be a part of this award and a part of this CardioWest program."

Mayo Clinic Arizona became a CardioWest certified center on Aug. 22, 2007. Since then, Dr. Francisco Arabia, Heart Transplant Program Surgical Director, and his team have bridged all five of their CardioWest patients to transplant.

"Our success with this device is a tribute to both our expert medical staff and the proven life-saving capabilities of this device," said Dr. Arabia. "With the TAH-t, we can help some of the sickest patients get a second chance at life."

The CardioWest artificial heart is approved as a bridge-to-transplant for patients dying from end stage biventricular failure. These patients are often days, if not hours from death. Their survival depends on receiving a donor heart, or a CardioWest artificial heart as a bridge to human heart transplant.

There are currently 24 CardioWest certified centers worldwide, with nine additional hospitals undergoing the certification process.

The CardioWest artificial heart is the first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE Mark approved temporary Total Artificial Heart in the world.

In the 10-year pivotal clinical study of the CardioWest artificial heart (New England Journal of Medicine 2004; 351: 859-867), 79 percent of patients receiving the CardioWest survived to transplant. This is the highest bridge-to-transplant rate for any heart device in the world. There have been more than 715 implants of the CardioWest, accounting for more than 125 patient years of life on the artificial heart.

SynCardia Systems, Inc.

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