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SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Press Release:

EJK Duisburg Becomes One of the Most Active SynCardia Certified Centers in Europe

German Hospital's Lead Surgeon Says SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Patients "Have Experienced an Exciting Improvement in Quality of Life"

 

Ralf Becker, pictured with his wife Silvia, was the first SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patient to be discharged from EJK Duisburg using the Freedom portable driver, which he is wearing in the Backpack. He is currently waiting for a matching donor heart at home.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Aug. 15, 2012 – SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that Evangelischen und Johanniter Klinikum Niederrhein (EJK Duisburg) in Germany has become one of the most active SynCardia Certified Centers in Europe.

"End-stage biventricular heart failure is a lethal disease," said Prof. Dr. med. Gero Tenderich. "Previously, treatment for this condition was limited to heart transplantation. However, this therapy is currently being challenged by an increasing shortage of suitable donor hearts and an aging society. The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart achieves excellent results as a bridge to transplantation for survival, end-organ recovery and quality of life. As a highly specialized, high-volume transplant center, we consider implantation of the Total Artificial Heart for both chronic and acute cases."

On March 2, 53-year-old Ralf Becker became the first Total Artificial Heart patient at EJK Duisburg to be discharged from the hospital using the Freedom® portable driver. Weighing approximately 6 kg, the Freedom driver is the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. 

L to R: Prof. Dr. med. Gero Tenderich, SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patient Mr. Friedhelm Rosheim with his Freedom portable driver in the Backpack and Prof. Dr. med. Reiner Körfer at EJK Duisburg in Germany.

“I can climb the stairs to our apartment on the third floor with almost no problem,” said Mr. Becker. “Twice daily I ride for half an hour on the bicycle, and twice a week I do physical therapy. When your family stands behind you, each new day is a gift.”

Mr. Becker was implanted with the Total Artificial Heart on Jan. 20, just 10 days after suffering a severe heart attack. On July 1, he and his wife Silvia, who have three children, celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary.

On June 9, 63-year-old Total Artificial Heart patient Friedhelm Rosheim was discharged from EJK Duisburg to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom driver. Since his discharge, Mr. Rosheim says he has been able to jog, climb stairs, go cycling and go out to dinner with his family.

“Mr. Rosheim and Mr. Becker have experienced an exciting improvement in quality of life,” said Prof. Dr. med. Tenderich. “Walking, riding a bicycle and going out to eat with family and friends are all possible due to the small size and simple handling of the Freedom portable driver. Their trust in God and medicine keeps them going.”

Worldwide, the Freedom driver has supported more than 90 patients accounting for more than 34 patient years of support. 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.

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

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About SynCardia Systems, LLC
SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the temporary Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.

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SynCardia Contact:
Janelle Drumwright, jdrumwright@syncardia.com, (520) 547-7463

 

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