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SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Press Release:

Michael Garippa Announced as SynCardia's New CEO

Former SynCardia CEO Rodger Ford Joins MicroMed Cardiovascular as Chairman and CEO

SynCardia’s Michael Garippa has taken over as CEO in addition to his current role as President. SynCardia’s Michael Garippa has taken over as CEO in addition to his current role as President. TUCSON, Ariz. – May 18, 2011 – SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, announced today that Rodger Ford, the company's CEO for the past six years, has stepped down. SynCardia President Michael Garippa has taken over as CEO in addition to his current role. Mr. Ford is joining MicroMed Cardiovascular, Inc. manufacturer of the HeartAssist 5™ left ventricular assist device, as CEO and Chairman of the Board.

"I have always provided advice to others that 'it is important to know your pathway to exit before you enter.'" said Mr. Ford. "When I recruited Michael to join SynCardia as President in July 2010, it was the first step of my plan to have him gradually transition to replace me as CEO. Michael has made a remarkable contribution, and month after month the company has exceeded its sales target. SynCardia more than doubled its revenue in 2010 compared to 2009."

Prior to joining SynCardia, Mr. Garippa served as the CEO and President of TandemHeart for eight years. He was recruited by TandemHeart in 2002 as a turnaround expert and stayed on as CEO and President. He took the company from an R&D firm that had lost an aggregate of $50 million and had no commercial sales to a successful company with over $6 million in net income during his last two years with the company.  

"Rodger transformed SynCardia from a R&D company that served a handful of hospitals to a successful company and industry leader in biventricular replacement, serving some of the top transplant programs around the world," said Mr. Garippa. "This is a very exciting time at SynCardia. The company continues to pick up velocity and traction as we work to complete the FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption clinical study of the Freedom® portable driver."

Mr. Ford became a director of SynCardia in May 2004. SynCardia received FDA approval of the Total Artificial Heart in October that year. In July 2005, Mr. Ford became the CEO and President. He joined the board of directors for MicroMed Cardiovascular in July 2008. Mr. Ford brings more than 40 years of entrepreneurial accomplishments and leadership to MicroMed, having founded numerous companies including AlphaGraphics Printshops Of The Future, PetsHotel and Anthem Equity Group, Inc.

"I will be forever grateful to the dedicated individuals that have lifted SynCardia on their backs and have carried us forward," said Mr. Ford. "As a significant investor and board member, I will continue to support the best interests of SynCardia.

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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 SynCardia 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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