GE sells off Breas Medical to PBM Capital

GE Healthcare ($GE) sold Breas Medical--its manufacturer of sleep apnea and respiratory ventilators--to PBM Capital Group for an undisclosed price. PBM Capital could not reveal terms of the acquisition, company spokesman Sean Stalfort told FierceMedicalDevices.

Both sides stand to benefit from the deal: The Swedish manufacturer will be integrated into PBM Capital's Human Design Medical (HDM) arm, a lifestyle medical device company that focuses on the treatment of sleep apnea. HDM's Z1 CPAP machine--a lightweight, portable ventilator--has already enjoyed commercial success in the U.S. But PBM Capital's recent acquisition of Breas allows it to market the device internationally, CEO Paul B. Manning said in a statement. With Breas' presence in more than 40 countries, the company will have plenty of room to get its foot through the door.

"The Z1 CPAP machine has had an incredible launch here in the U.S., and we have more innovative products in the pipeline. The Breas acquisition opens the door to global distribution channels and gives us immediate access to an established line of home care ventilators backed by a strong IP portfolio. We are very excited to merge these two great companies," Manning said.

Breas, on the other hand, will help PBM develop new products and enter the U.S. market--a space it did not previously occupy. The company's management team hopes to integrate its core operations and relationships into PBM Capital's stateside business, CEO Nicke Svanvik said in a statement.

The sale comes at a critical time in sleep apnea treatment. Med tech companies are developing less clunky, more user-friendly devices: California-based ApniCure won FDA approval in March 2012 for a sleep-therapy system with a flexible mouthpiece, and Medtronic spinoff Inspire Medical Systems saw a positive round of clinical results for its nerve-stimulation treatment. If approved, the pacemaker-like device could serve as an alternative to common CPAP machines.

While PBM's future remains unclear, access to GE manufacturing facilities and global markets could help the company level its playing field.

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