TUCSON, Ariz., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SynCardia Systems, Inc. ( www.syncardia.com), the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE ( Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that its Companion 2 (C2) Driver System, which powers the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart in the hospital, has been selected as one of four finalists in the Critical-Care and Emergency Medicine Products category of the 15th Annual Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA). The winners will be announced on June 19 in Philadelphia. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130404/LA88555) "Prior to the development of the C2 Driver, the only FDA-approved driver for powering the Total Artificial Heart in the hospital was the 418-pound 'Big Blue' driver," said Michael Garippa, SynCardia Chairman/CEO/President. "Although Big Blue is extremely reliable, its size and weight reduces patient mobility and there are only 36 available worldwide. The state-of-the-art C2 Driver, which we manufacture and have more than 90 units at SynCardia Certified Centers, is both robust and mobile, supporting very sick patients of all sizes in the operating room and in the hospital during recovery and ambulation." For the Total Artificial Heart implant, the C2 Driver is docked in the Hospital Cart. Featuring sturdy support handles and locking casters, the Hospital Cart assists patients in standing and walking during their early recovery. Once the patient is out of bed and ambulatory, the C2 Driver can be docked in the Driver Caddy, which provides patients with greater mobility in the hospital and on hospital grounds. Once stable, patients who are eligible can be switched to the 13.5-pound Freedom® portable driver, the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. Patients who meet discharge criteria can then leave the hospital and wait for a matching donor heart at home and in their communities. The Freedom portable driver was selected by MDEA as the Bronze Winner in the Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Products category in 2012. The Medical Design Excellence Awards are the industry's premier design awards competition and is the only awards program exclusively recognizing contributions and advances in the design of medical products. Entries were evaluated on the basis of their design and engineering features, including innovative use of materials, user-related functions that improve healthcare delivery and change traditional medical attitudes or practices, features that provide enhanced benefits to the patient, and the ability to overcome design and engineering challenges to meet clinical objectives. CAUTION – The Freedom portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial HeartSynCardia 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 1,100 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 300 patient years of life. Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at SynCardia Certified Centers. It is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through each ventricle. This high volume of safe blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate. Forbes Ranks SynCardia #69 Among "America's Most Promising Companies" In its February 2013 issue, Forbes selected SynCardia as one of "America's Most Promising Companies" for the second consecutive year. On the list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures, SynCardia was selected #69, moving up eight spots from its #77 ranking last year. To see the full list of SynCardia Awards & Recognition go to: http://www.syncardia.com/SynCardia/syncardia-awards-and-recognition.html. For additional information, please visit: http://www.syncardia.comLike SynCardia on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/SynCardia-Systems-Inc/191245900926019 Follow SynCardia on Twitter – http://twitter.com/SynCardia Connect with SynCardia on LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/company/syncardia-systems-inc. SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.