Cook Medical invests €16.5m in Limerick R&D operation

5 Jan 2012

The largest privately owned medical device company in the world Cook Medical is to invest up to €16.5m over four years in a new R&D operation in Limerick.

Established in Limerick in 1996, Cook Medical’s Irish operation has grown from eight employees to more than 630, becoming one of the leading medical device employers in the country. 

This new R&D investment will focus on two projects: the establishment of a state-of-the-art research and development laboratory and enhancement of Cook Ireland’s position as a global design centre for the development of self-expanding stents and delivery devices. 

The state-of-the-art lab will be designed with the objective of fostering innovation through enhanced collaboration with doctors and clinicians, and developing new anatomical models to provide a more realistic environment for product evaluation and testing prior to commercial release.

The second project involves the establishment of Cook Ireland as the key site for R&D for the Zilver product line: a flagship range of peripheral intervention devices at Cook Medical. The Limerick-based site is currently the sole manufacturing plant for the Zilver PTX Drug-Eluting Peripheral Stent, a drug-eluting stent for use in the superficial femoral artery.

The strength of the medical device and life sciences sector in Ireland

In making the announcement, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, said a key part of his plan to get jobs and growth back into the Irish economy again is to target sectors where Ireland has distinct advantages and the potential for large-scale jobs growth.

“Life sciences and medical devices are sectors where we have built up very substantial strength over a period of many years: the challenge now is to build on that to achieve the jobs growth we need.

“Today’s announcement that the largest privately-owned medical devices company in the world is investing heavily in research and development of its next generation of products is great news for Limerick and for Ireland.”

Bill Doherty, Cook Medical executive vice-president, EMEA, said the IDA’s continued recognition of the importance of R&D facilities for the future growth of the Irish med tech industry is vital.

“The IDA has been an outstanding partner of Cook Medical over the past 16 years. Their support, coupled with R&D tax credits, has contributed to year-on-year growth and enabled target milestones to be achieved. 

“This latest investment will help to future proof Cook Medical’s commitment to Ireland, enabling us to lead the development of the next generation of medical devices and continue the improvement of patient outcomes,” Doherty said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years