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 Bad Oeynhausen, 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.
Paul first joined SynCardia in 2012 and leads the Finance and Accounting team. He brings more than 12 years of experience in financial services. Over the last six years, he has held significant financial planning and analysis roles at both SynCardia and Springleaf Financial Services (currently OneMain Financial). Paul has led his teams on several private equity raises totaling over $20 million and has helped secure multiple debt instruments of over $30 million during his career. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Metropolitan State University of Denver and an MBA from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
Oliver has been with SynCardia since 2006 and co-founded SynCardia’s European unit in 2011. He has more than 15 years of experience in mechanical circulatory support. Prior to joining SynCardia, Oliver was Manager of European Technical Services for MicroMed Cardiovascular Inc., the manufacturer of the world’s first implanted continuous flow left ventricular assist device. Oliver studied medical physics in Germany and Canada and holds a PhD in biomedical engineering. He also holds a dual executive MBA from the Bradford University School of Management in the United Kingdom and from the TiasNimbas Business School in the Netherlands.
Markus has been with SynCardia since 2008 and co-founded SynCardia’s European unit in 2011. A former ICU nurse at the Heart & Diabetes Center NRW, Europe’s largest heart center and transplant program, Markus has experience with a number of new and existing ECMO, LVAD and TAH systems. He helped establish SynCardia’s training and support program in Europe, and has helped grow the number of SynCardia Certified Centers in Europe from a handful in 2008 to more than 70 in 2018. Markus holds degrees in nursing and in healthcare & economics.