University of Maryland's respiratory support device spinout Breethe has been picked up by Abiomed, which aims to expand treatment options for cardiogenic shock patients.

Breethe, a US-based artificial lung developer spun out of University of Maryland, has been acquired by heart pump supplier Abiomed for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2014, Breethe has developed an extracorporeal oxygenation device that provides life support to patients who can no longer breathe properly.

The device – which is awaiting US regulatory approval – oxygenates blood when the lungs are unable to do so before returning the fluid back into the body.

Abiomed will use Breethe’s technology alongside its existing heart pump treatment for cardiogenic shock, a complication that occurs when the heart suddenly fails to circulate sufficient blood.

Breethe was founded by Bartley Griffith, the Hales distinguished professor of surgery at University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.

The company had raised more than $18m ahead of the acquisition. Breethe secured $8m of equity funding in two tranches in 2019, after securing $3.5m of a targeted $5m round in 2018.

UM Ventures, the tech transfer office of University of Maryland System, supplied $100,000 as part of a $1.7m round for the spinout in 2015 backed by undisclosed investors.