Cook Medical named Irish med tech ‘Company of the Year’

9 Dec 2011

Cook Medical wins the Irish Medical Technology Company of the Year 2011 award. At the award ceremony in Limerick was Pat Burke, director of operations at Cook Medical

Limerick-based Cook Medical has won the Irish Medical Technology Company of the Year 2011 award at the fifth annual Medical Technology Industry Excellence Awards, which are co-hosted by IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Medical Devices Association.

Cook was recognised for adopting a business model which saw Cook Medical upskill its manufacturing from producing FDA Class II medical devices to Class III medical devices and for becoming the shared service centre for Europe.

Established in Ireland in 1996, Cook Medical in Limerick designs and manufactures specialist medical devices used for minimally invasive surgery by interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, urologists and endoscopists.

Galway-based Aerogen Ltd won the silver medal and Lake Region Medical, a Wexford-based company, won the bronze medal at Medical Technology Industry Excellence Awards.

Commenting on the awards and the strength of the medical device sector, Dave Shanahan, head of Global Life Sciences at IDA Ireland, said: “The high standard of entries received for this year’s awards reflects the standard at which Ireland is leading the field globally in terms of innovation.

“Collectively, the industry in Ireland is seeing significant growth and this, in turn, is attracting inward investment and creating jobs,” he said.

Two-thirds of med tech firms expect to increase turnover

A recent IBEC report found that two-thirds of medical technology companies expect turnover to increase during 2012 and industry leaders are confident of growth both of employee numbers and turnover in the next five years.

The overwhelming majority of 70pc expect to increase employee numbers with only 5pc expecting a reduction.

Cook Medical in Ireland is the global manufacturer of the Zilver PTX Drug-Eluting Peripheral Stent; the first drug eluting stent in the world approved for use in the superficial femoral artery (SFA).

This “combination therapy” gives sometimes limb-saving and life-saving patency to blocked SFA arteries succumbing to peripheral arterial disease, which affects 27m people across Europe and North America and is responsible for more than 200,000 amputations per year.

Zilver PTX clinical trial results have shown it greatly improves peripheral arterial disease with much better patient outcomes. 

“Winning an Irish Medical Industry Technology Excellence Award is a tremendous recognition of Cook Ireland’s leading role in the global production of the Zilver PTX Drug-Eluting Stent,” said Bill Doherty, executive vice-president, EMEA Cook Medical.

“The Limerick plant has embraced the challenge of manufacturing a Combination Class III device and now exports this innovative and sometimes life-changing product to nearly 40 countries worldwide. With over 200 medical device companies in Ireland it is an honour to win such a prestigious award and demonstrates the strength of the med-tech sector in Ireland.”

Med-tech outstanding contribution award

The prestigious IMDA Medical Technology Outstanding Contribution Award was given to Ian Quinn, non-executive chairman and founder of Creganna-Tactx Medical, a company which operates in three continents and employs 1,200 staff worldwide.

Creganna-Tactx Medical is ranked among the top 10 global providers of outsourced designed and manufacturing services and is Ireland’s largest indigenous company in the medical-devices sector. Quinn is a regular contributor and speaker at industry and engineering forums and also acts as a sounding board to venture capital organisations evaluating the potential of medical technology start-ups.

The award recognises Quinn for the significant contribution to the development, growth and success of the medical-technology sector in Ireland.

Three companies, KCI Medical, Nypro Healthcare Ireland and Stryker Ireland, were also highly commended for their projects.

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