Abiomed announces acquisition of Breethe during Covid-19 pandemic

GlobalData Healthcare 4 May 2020 (Last Updated May 4th, 2020 08:10)

Abiomed announces acquisition of Breethe during Covid-19 pandemic

On 30 April 2020, Abiomed released their quarterly financial results for the three months ending on 31 March 2020. The positive news reported by the company leads to an increase in Abiomed share prices as of 1 May 2020, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The US-based company Abiomed is best known as the manufacturer of the Impella, a percutaneous heart pump. This life-saving device is used to keep a patient’s heart pumping after cardiogenic shock or while undergoing certain high-risk procedures such as protected percutaneous coronary intervention; it can also be used to stabilise the right side of the heart in some patients who have received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). GlobalData estimated the value of the percutaneous heart pump market to be just under $700M in 2019, with Abiomed (and their Impella device) as a major player in this market.

Given the urgent nature of procedures that require the use of percutaneous heart pumps such as the Impella, it is not surprising that the Covid-19 pandemic has not negatively impacted Abiomed as much as it has impacted other medical device manufacturers. In their quarterly financial results reporting for the three months ending on March 31st, 2020, Abiomed reported quarterly revenue of $207M; a 0% change from the same quarter in 2019. Their reported annual revenue of $841M represents year-over-year growth of 9% from the annual revenue reported for 2019.

However, some cardiac procedures that would use the Impella are less urgent than others and have been subject to delay or cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, Abiomed announced an estimated $17M impact on revenue for the fiscal year 2021, with $15M of that coming from a decline in US sales alone.

Lastly, as part of their fourth-quarter report, Abiomed announced the acquisition of Breethe, a manufacturer of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) systems. ECMO systems, in general, are used to help oxygenate the body in times of extreme stress, such as during cardiogenic shock. ECMO systems treat a very similar patient population as percutaneous heart pumps, so the Breethe ECMO system will complement Abiomed’s Impella device very well. Furthermore, Abiomed announced two case studies reporting successful use of ECMO systems in Covid-19-positive patients. As such, once the Breethe ECMO system is approved by the FDA, GlobalData predicts huge sales driven by the need to treat large numbers of Covid-19 patients.