Abiomed acquires novel ECMO developer Breethe

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Breethe machine

Abiomed (maker of the Impella heart pump) has acquired Breethe, developer of a novel extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system. A press release reports that the acquisition will complement and expand Abiomed’s product portfolio to more comprehensively serve the needs of patients whose lungs can no longer provide sufficient oxygenation. Such patients include those with cardiogenic shock or respiratory failure as a result of conditions like COVID-19.

According to the press release, Abiomed recognises the need for ECMO therapy for patients in need of oxygenation and has supported approximately 10,000 ECMO plus Impella (ECPella) patients with cardiogenic shock over the past 10 years. In Japan, more than half of Impella patients receive ECPella for haemodynamic and oxygenation support.

Breethe’s product is a first-of-its kind, easy-to-use compact ECMO system with an integrated oxygen concentrator that is designed to eliminate the need for bulky oxygen tanks to promote easier patient ambulation. The system has a novel design that is intuitive for health care providers to set up, manage, and monitor. Abiomed invested in Breethe in mid-2019. Breethe has applied for 510(k) clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Breethe’s founder Bartley Griffith (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA), who has collaborated with Abiomed for a number of years and served as the principal investigator of RECOVER I, comments: “Abiomed is the best positioned company to build on the legacy of what we started. I am confident that the addition of Breethe’s technology into Abiomed’s product portfolio will further enhance Abiomed’s ability to improve outcomes for their patients and serve a new patient population.”

Michael R Minogue, Abiomed’s chairman, president and CEO, says: “Breethe will integrate with Abiomed and our manufacturing, quality, sales, engineering and research capabilities, including Abiomed’s best-in-class Clinical Support Center. This acquisition aligns with our principles of leading in technology and innovation, putting patients first and striving to continually improve outcomes. Physicians have asked Abiomed to bring this technology into our portfolio because of our ability to support patients, teach best practices, and collect critical data for research. This ECMO technology will allow us to treat cardiogenic shock patients who are already being supported with Impella, add pediatric offerings and treat a new patient population with respiratory failure.”

Terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed at this time.


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