Irish Business for Mayo Clinic

Jeff Bolton, Vice President Administration, Mayo Clinic, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and Keith O’Neill, Director of Lifesciences
Commercialization Enterprise Ireland, pictured at the signing of the $16.5M deal. 

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief
August / September 2014

A collaboration between Ireland and the Mayo Clinic that could significantly impact the future of medical technology was recently announced.

Enterprise Ireland, the government agency in Ireland responsible for supporting Irish businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded service, will see the commercialization of up to 20 novel medical technologies in Ireland over the next five years with the aim of creating several high-value medical technology spin-out companies.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was on hand to witness the signing of the agreement between Jeff Bolton, Vice President Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Keith O’Neill, Director Life-Sciences Commercialization, Enterprise Ireland in Dublin.

The Irish Government will provide up to $16.5 million for the co-development and licensing of novel medical technologies at the Mayo Clinic headquartered in Minnesota. These technologies will then be brought to Ireland where they will be further developed and validated by research teams in Irish Higher Education Institutes, and where they will be introduced to investors to bring the technologies to market.

The first project under way is at NUI Galway, internationally recognized for its expertise in Biomedical Science and Engineering. The device patented by the Mayo Clinic is for the treatment of acute pancreatitis.

A team led by Dr. Mark Bruzzi of NUI Galway aims to design and develop a prototype device for human clinical use, build on animal studies conducted thus far, and advance the therapeutic technology towards a “first in man” clinical investigation.

On the commercial side, NUI Galway will validate the market and reimbursement model for the device and support the exploitation of the commercial potential of the technology in Ireland.

Investors Aisling Capital, New York and ACT Venture Capital are currently advising the team at NUI Galway on the establishment of a spin-out company around this technology.

Signing the agreement between Enterprise Ireland and Mayo Clinic, Dr. Keith O’Neill, Enterprise Ireland said, “this deal is a win-win as it will seed as many as 10 spin-out companies in Ireland whilst bringing advanced medical technologies to patients and providing a revenue stream back to Mayo Clinic to enhance its mission. We look forward to working with Mayo Clinic to create new companies around these world-class technologies some of which may, in time, establish a presence in Minnesota, close to Mayo Clinic, benefiting the local economy there as well as in Ireland.”

Enterprise Ireland’s aim is to create 10 spin-out companies in addition to licensing/commercialization relationships in Ireland for each medical technology.

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