Our Company Vision
To manage patients with advanced heart failure, every clinician will have the technology awareness and outcome data necessary to confidently consider the TAH as a therapeutic option.
At SynCardia Systems, LLC, we have a very special mission: to give end-stage heart failure patients the priceless gift of more time. More time with their families and friends, more time outside the hospital enjoying life and more time to receive a heart transplant.
Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, SynCardia was founded in 2001 by renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Jack G. Copeland, MD; biomedical engineer Richard G. Smith, MSEE, CCE; and interventional cardiologist Marvin J. Slepian, MD. Today, SynCardia is the sole manufacturer and provider of the world’s only commercially approved total artificial heart. In clinical use for more than 35 years, the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH) is the most widely used and extensively studied total artificial heart in the world.
By partnering with, training and supporting healthcare teams at more than 140 transplant hospitals and heart failure programs in more than 20 countries, SynCardia helps create better outcomes for critically ill adults and adolescents whose best chance of survival is total heart replacement. When a donor heart isn’t available or isn’t an option, SynCardia provides a new heart without the wait for patients at risk of dying or becoming too sick to transplant because of end-stage biventricular failure.
The SynCardia team is passionate about saving lives and dedicated to responsiveness, teamwork, safety, reliability and innovation. We believe that no one should die waiting for a matching donor heart. We also believe that a hospital isn’t a home; that for optimal patient quality of life, the ability to discharge stable patients home to enjoy a near-normal quality of life is vital. As a result, we are committed to advancing the treatment of end-stage biventricular failure to help improve patient care, quality of life and long-term outcomes.
In September 2016, SynCardia was acquired by Versa Capital Management, LLC, a Philadelphia-based private equity investment firm. Our partnership with Versa has provided us with financial and operational resources to ensure that we can continue to grow and flourish in the U.S. and around the world. This support has also allowed us to continue developing innovative medical devices and pursuing new indications so we can help more patients.
In addition to our U.S. headquarters, SynCardia also operates a GmbH based in Freiburg im B., Germany, which allows us to provide robust clinical support and training to hospitals throughout Europe and beyond.
Don joined SynCardia in 2018 as the COO with oversight of Manufacturing Operations, Engineering, Quality and Supply Chain Logistics. His demonstrated leadership lead to his promotion in January 2019 to the Chief Executive Office. Don brings extensive management experience from more than 25 years in public and private sector life science companies. Prior to joining our team, Don had been COO at OptiScan since 2010. He previously served as VP of Manufacturing Operations at C.R. Bard, Vice President of Operations at EKOS Corporation and President and CEO of Mitralign. Don holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering technology from the State University of New York and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Blago was appointed as Vice President of Quality at SynCardia in June of 2018. A compliance-driven quality professional with over 30 years of progressive experience and a proven record, Blago is also responsible for Engineering and Project Management at SynCardia. He previously served as Sr. Operations Director at OptiScan Biomedical, where he led Operations, Quality Control, and the Research & Development Test Lab. During his tenure, he developed and implemented a Quality System with all applicable procedures to ensure compliance with 21CFR820 and EN13485, leading to the approval of a first-of-its-kind point-of-care bedside monitor exclusively used in the ICU.
Eric has over 18 years of global combined sales and marketing experience in the medical healthcare industry. Before joining SynCardia, he was VP of Europe for ADMEDUS Limited, Director of Sales for CARDIOME Pharma Corp., Head of Sales & Marketing for AEON Scientific, and Director of Sales & Marketing for Sorin Group. Eric has a CSCT in Medicine from the University of Nancy, a PA in Pharmacy from the University of Lausanne, and a Master of Marketing Management from University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis.
John joined SynCardia with over 30 years of sales experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining SynCardia, he was VP of Sales and Marketing for Attis Industries, a biotech company with diverse businesses in renewable fuel, bio-based products, and healthcare. From 2002-2019, John held various sales leadership positions within Abbott/St. Jude Medical, most recently as Senior Regional Sales Director. John holds a B.A. Psychology from the University of South Florida.