Crospon believes in domestic manufacturing

15 Jun 2011

John O’Dea, founder of medical devices firm Crospon, feels that ideas innovated in Ireland should be manufactured here for export.

“We have a great manufacturing base in this country which became unfashionable during the Celtic Tiger years,” he says.

“I’m motivated by changing the practice of medicine through innovative engineering solutions and creating much-needed employment in Ireland in the areas of both research and development and manufacturing.”

Established in 2006, Crospon is involved in the development and manufacture of leading-edge, minimally-invasive medical devices for imaging and aiding clinically-invasive procedures in the areas of bariatric surgery and gastroenterology.

The company employs 20 people between its offices in Galway and California.  

Earlier this year, Crospon launched a new imaging catheter for weight loss surgery applications at the SAGES 2011 conference in San Antonio in the US.

Its first product, EndoFLIP (Endolumenal Functional Lumen Imaging Probe) was FDA approved in December 2009 and launched in the US, Canada and Australia in April 2010.

Primarily used by gastroenterologists and surgeons operating on the oesophagus and stomach, the EndoFLIP is CE marked and marketed in Europe primarily for use in gastro-diagnostic applications.

Mentoring valuable for everyone

O’Dea attributes his early success in part to his mentor, Bob Grimes, from California. “I think that we all need a mentor at some stage in our careers – someone that can help others to see in us what we know we possess within ourselves.

“Bob was a great champion in helping to establish one of the first bonafide multinational medical device R&D operations in Ireland back in the late 1980s, one which gave me my first break in the medical device business.”

In 2010, Crospon developed a new start-up known as Janisys. The Janisys active microneedle-based transdermal drug delivery system was originally devised at Hewlett Packard before being out-licensed to Crospon in 2007.

O’Dea has the following advice for anyone thinking of starting a knowledge-intensive business in Ireland:

“We have an almost unique conglomeration of multinationals in this country. Learn your business in them before starting out on your own. Try and develop your idea in your own time or in a third-level institution as far as you can before trying to raise capital.”

Photo: Crospon founder John O’Dea

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