Published 12/28/17 in the Baltimore Business Journal
A Baltimore startup developing artificial organ technology has raised about $3 million in equity funding, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents.
Medical device firm Breethe Inc. reported the round this month, which included 22 investors.
This is the second funding filing of the year for Breethe, a company based at the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s BioPark. According to an SEC document filed in August, the startup previously reported seeking $3.6 million, of which $1.1 million had already been raised by the time of the filing.
Breethe is developing a wearable artificial lung that patients can take home with them from the hospital. The company was founded by Dr. Bartley Griffith, a transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center, who has been working on the tech for about 20 years.
Griffith could not be reached for comment on either of the fundraising documents. The two SEC filings could be related to the same funding round.
The startup is backed by more $2 million in previous funding, including a $100,000 investment from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Breethe was spun out of the university in 2014. UM Ventures, the university’s research and technology commercialization arm, licensed the artificial lung technology to Breethe in 2015.
Breethe’s device is intended to improve quality of life for patients living with lung disease and respiratory failure, who may otherwise be confined to a hospital and hooked up to a breathing machine. Griffith, who has performed about 685 lung transplants himself, has said his device will allow those patients to be more mobile and resume more of their daily activities.
According to the American Lung Association, lung disease is the third highest cause of death in the U.S., with nearly 400,000 Americans dying from it each year.