Abiomed pumps life into the Midlands with manufacturing announcement


5 Aug 2008

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Specialist heart assist technologies company Abiomed is setting up a global manufacturing facility in Athlone, Co Westmeath, which will lead to the creation of 250 jobs over five years.

Supported by IDA Ireland, the new Athlone facility will be responsible for the global manufacture of Abiomed’s Impella 2.5 cardiac assist device to meet anticipated long-term demand and extend capacity from the company’s German facility.

At today’s announcement, the Massachusetts-based company indicated the longer-term plan was to make Ireland Abiomed’s global centre of excellence for high-volume disposable products manufacturing.

The Impella products are percutaneous heart pumps for use in interventional cardiology and heart surgery. They became part of Abiomed’s portfolio following its purchase of Impella Cardio Systems in 2005. Before the Impella product line was introduced, most devices of this kind required surgery.

“This investment will bring further high-quality employment opportunities to the region and is another superb overseas medical technologies company choosing Ireland for its future growth and development,” said Tánaiste Mary Coughlan TD (pictured).

“This is the first minimally invasive device product of its kind. It is companies of this highly sophisticated nature we are striving to win.”

The factors influencing the decision in favour of Athlone included the infrastructural facilities and a high number of Irish medical device component supply companies.

Abiomed will be seeking personnel with mechanical, electrical and polymer engineering experience, as well as a direct labour force skilled in the micro assembly of medical devices in a clean room setting.

By Sorcha Corcoran

Pictured L-R: Barry O’Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland; Mary Coughlan TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and Mike Minogue, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Abiomed