Blog Baltimore: UMB-born medical device company Breethe acquired by Abiomed

The Halethorpe-based company’s lung-like technology will become part of the product portfolio of Massachusetts’ Abiomed.

Breethe, the medical device company founded by renowned University of Maryland School of Medicine surgeon and professor Dr. Bartley Griffith, has been acquired by Danvers, Massachusetts-based Abiomed, the companies announced this week.

Breethe’s system, which is designed to behave like a human lung, will become part of the Abiomed’s product portfolio. The device is designed to be portable, which can eliminate the need to use bulky oxygen tanks during ECMO therapy, which circulates blood from a patient’s body through an artificial lung. The device will help “to more comprehensively serve the needs of patients whose lungs can no longer provide sufficient oxygenation,” a news release states.

Abiomed makes heart pumps called Impella, which help to treat patients with advanced heart failure. The company will be able to treat those patients with the device, as well as patients with respiratory failure due to diseases such as ARDS, H1N1, SARS or COVID-19. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Breethe applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 510(K) medical device clearance, which would allow the device to enter the market but it has not received clearance at this time.

The two companies were previously familiar with each other: Abiomed invested in Breethe last year, and has been a collaborator with Griffith.

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