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April 29, 2020

Abiomed Acquires Breethe, a Developer of ECMO Cardiopulmonary Support Technology

April 29, 2020—Abiomed announced it has acquired Breethe, the developer of an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system for patients whose lungs can no longer provide sufficient oxygenation, including patients with cardiogenic shock or respiratory failure, such as caused by ARDS, SARS, H1N1, or COVID-19. ECMO has also been used as a primary method of oxygenation and hemodynamic support for pediatric patients.

Breethe has applied for 510(k) clearance for its OXY-1 system, which is pending. The company was founded by Bartley Griffith, MD, who is the Hales Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Abiomed invested in Breethe in mid-2019. Terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.

“This acquisition is a natural progression toward improving patient care,” commented Matthew D. Bacchetta, MD, in the company’s press release. “Breethe’s compact and all-in-one technology aims for improved patient ambulation, which can improve outcomes and promote active rehabilitation for patients with cardiopulmonary diseases.” Dr. Bacchetta is Associate Professor, Department of Thoracic Surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Abiomed has combined ECMO therapy with its Impella technology in the ECPella for patients with cardiogenic shock for the past 10 years. In Japan, more than half of Impella patients receive ECPella for hemodynamic and oxygenation support.

For many patients in cardiogenic shock, Impella unloads the left ventricle, perfuses end organs, and allows the heart to rest and recover. For patients in cardiogenic shock that may also need oxygenation, ECMO perfuses the end organs but does not unload the left ventricle, which increases the oxygen demand of the myocardium. For patients in cardiogenic shock, the ECPella works to unload the heart and oxygenate the body, stated Abiomed.

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