Lake Region Medical scoops med-tech company of year award

14 Dec 2012

Sharon Higgins, director of the IMDA, with Joseph Fleischhacker, CEO, Lake Region Medical; John Harris, vice-president of operations, Lake Region Medical; and Barry O'Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland

Medical device company Lake Region Medical, which has a plant in Co Wexford and an R&D centre in Galway, has won the company of the year award at the Medical Technology Industry Excellence Awards. At the awards ceremony, which took place in Galway last night, Technopath Manufacturing won the emerging medical technology company of the year award.

The med-tech awards were jointly hosted by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA).

Lake Region Medical is an original development manufacturer of minimally invasive devices and components with clinically-focused product innovations. The company was founded in 1947 in the US by two former Honeywell employees, with an investment of US$400.

The company set up its New Ross, Co Wexford, manufacturing plant in 1994, while it has also operated an international research and development centre in Galway, since it acquired Brivant Medical in 2009.

Technopath Manufacturing, meanwhile, is a privately held company that manufactures products for multinational in-vitro diagnostic companies. Its products monitor the quality of hospital laboratory blood tests.

Med-tech cluster

Andrew Vogelaar, head of IDA Ireland’s med-tech division, said Lake Region Medical employs 800 people between its high-volume manufacturing site in Wexford and its international R&D centre in Galway.  

He said Ireland’s reputation as a hub for the medical-technology sector continues to go from strength to strength due to its burgeoning indigenous and multinational med-tech cluster.

“Seventeen of the top 25 global med-tech companies are located in Ireland with the sector responsible for over €7.3bn in exports annually,” said Vogelaar.

During 2012, med-tech investment in Ireland has included investments from Cook Medical, Merit Medical, Technopath Manufacturing, Stryker Ireland, Arc Royal, Nypro Healthcare, Pro-Tek, ResMed, Bellurgan, Delcath Systems and Diaceutics Dundalk

John Harris, vice-president of operations at Lake Region Medical, said that winning the award was a tribute to the hard work and commitment of the company’s employees.

In June, Lake Region Medical became the first European-based med-tech firm to be awarded the global Shingo prize for operational excellence.

At last night’s awards, John O’Shaughnessy was given an outstanding contribution award in recognition of his role in the development of Ireland’s medical-device sector over the past 30 years.

O’Shaughnessy is chairman of Vistamed, Cambus Teoranta, Almotech and Neuravi. The latter company is pioneering a medical device to help doctors quickly treat patients after they have had a stroke by removing the lodged blood clot from the brain with its proprietary ‘Stent Basket’ technology.  

He was a founding director of the medical device company MedNova, which was subsequently acquired by Abbott Laboratories.

DePuy Ireland received the ‘silver’ medical technology company of the year award, while neoSurgical received the ‘silver’ emerging medical technology company of the year award. is hosting Med Tech Focus, an initiative which over coming months will cover news, reports, interviews and videos, documenting Ireland’s leading role in one of the hottest sectors in technology.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic