Dräger acquires majority share of Swiss start-up Stimit
Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA has acquired the majority share of Stimit AG. With this acquisition, Dräger further expands its expertise in the field of lung-protective ventilation.
Different courses of disease may require artificial respiration. The novel coronavirus is just one of them. If the body is no longer able to breathe on its own to a sufficient extent, mechanical ventilation can save lives. However, after just a few days of ventilation, there is a risk of weakening the respiratory muscles and diaphragm. In order for patients to be able to breathe on their own again, the diaphragm, as the most important respiratory muscle, must be maintained and built up. Stimit plans to achieve this by means of electromagnetic fields that stimulate the diaphragm.
"Stimit is working on a solution that is not yet available on the market. By acquiring a majority stake, we secure a head start in the development of non-invasive stimulation of respiratory muscles," said Stephan Kruse, Head of Business Unit, Therapy, at Dräger. "As an expert in ventilation technology, we are interested in making ventilation as gentle as possible and to drive forward innovative solutions in this field."
Stimit will work together with Dräger in the following months to further develop the product and conduct clinical trials.
The Swiss-based start-up was founded in 2018 and works on solutions to strengthen the respiratory muscles of artificially ventilated intensive care patients, in a non-invasive way. Among other things, it aims to positively influence the weaning process from ventilation. Currently, the duration of the weaning process from artificial ventilation in ICU patients is approximately between 40 and 50 percent of the total ventilation time. The weaning process usually becomes more difficult as the duration of ventilation increases. In the long term, electromagnetic stimulation of the diaphragm should help shorten the period of ventilation and thus the time of hospitalisation, as well as reduce the risk of complications.