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Baltimore Business Journal: UMB Startup Developing Artificial Lung Raising Up to $5 Million

Monday, October 8, 2018

University of Maryland, Baltimore-born startup Breethe Inc. is looking to raise about $5 million in new equity funding, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEC documents showed the medical device firm reported about $3.5 million of its $5 million goal has already been secured, in a round which includes 29 investors so far. The startup is backed by more $5 million in previous funding, including a $3 million round reported in December 2017.

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 immediately reached for comment on the funding round.

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. The tech 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. According to the American Lung Association, lung disease is the third highest cause of death in the U.S.

Griffith also topped this year's list of highest-paid Maryland employees, with a salary of $980,000. See the full list of highest-paid state employees here.