Abiomed adds ECMO to its product portfolio, potentially treating COVID-19 patients

Following the announcement that Abiomed has acquired Breethe, maker of an ECMO system;

Azadeh Laffafian PhD, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“As the number of COVID-19 cases surge, so does the demand for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy. Through the acquisition of Breethe and its ECMO system, Abiomed is hoping to help fill this demand. Breethe has applied for FDA 510(k) clearance for the system.

“While an increase in the supply of ECMO equipment is important in addressing COVID-19, other factors limiting the use of ECMO therapy include requirement for vast hospital resources and a team of experienced staff. Therefore, only critically ill patients who are expected to receive the most benefit and have the best chance of survival are considered.

“The ECMO system will be a natural addition to Abiomed’s product portfolio going forward. ECMO therapy can be used in combination with Abiomed’s Impella heart pumps to treat patients with cardiogenic shock. According to Abiomed’s quarterly results, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on sales of Impella heart pumps. The company estimates that it lost $17m in revenue due to the pandemic.”

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