Enterprise Ireland forges US$16m med-tech collaboration with Mayo Clinic

10 Apr 20146 Shares

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Enterprise Ireland has entered into a US$16m collaboration with the prestigious US-based Mayo Clinic that will see 20 US medical technologies commercialised, leading to potentially up to 10 spin-out Irish companies.

The Irish Government will provide up to US$16m (€11.7m) through Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund for the co-development and licensing of novel medical technologies developed at Mayo Clinic U.S. into Ireland where they will be commercialised.

This will involve further development and validation of the technologies by research teams in Irish Higher Education Institutes, and introductions to investors to bring the technologies to market.

Enterprise Ireland’s aim is to create 10 spin-out companies in addition to licensing/commercialisation relationships in Ireland for each medical technology.

“This deal is a win-win as it will seed as many as 10 spin-out companies in Ireland whilst bringing advanced medical technologies to patients and providing a revenue stream back to Mayo Clinic to enhance its mission,” explained Dr Keith O’Neill from Enterprise Ireland.

“We look forward to working with Mayo Clinic to create new companies around these world-class technologies some of which may, in time, establish a presence in Minnesota U.S, close to Mayo Clinic, benefiting the local economy there as well as in Ireland.”

The first project is under way in NUI Galway, internationally recognised for its expertise in Biomedical Science and Engineering. The device patented by the Mayo Clinic is for the treatment of acute pancreatitis. A team led by Dr Mark Bruzzi of NUI Galway aims to design and develop a prototype device for human clinical use, build on animal studies conducted thus far and advance the therapeutic technology towards a ‘first in man’ clinical investigation.

On the commercial side, NUI Galway will validate the market and reimbursement model for the device and support the exploitation of the commercial potential of the technology in Ireland.

Investors Aisling Capital, New York and ACT Venture Capital are currently advising the team at NUI, Galway on the establishment of a spin-out company around this technology.

Medical excellence returns to its roots

Speaking at the announcement Jeff Bolton, VP Mayo Clinic said: “Mayo is committed to improving medicine throughout the world for the benefit of patients everywhere. This collaboration with Enterprise Ireland provides a unique way of furthering the research and development of novel technologies that have high potential to make a difference in patient care, alleviating the burdens of human disease.

“We expect that this collaboration will pay dividends in the United States as the commercialised technologies will be sold in the US for the benefit of patients. We also expect that many of these companies will create a US presence in and around one or more of Mayo’s practice sites.”

Welcoming the collaboration Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “This agreement between Mayo Clinic U.S and Enterprise Ireland is highly significant from an economic perspective and builds on an Irish connection with Mayo Clinic extending back to the 19thcentury when the founders of the Mayo Clinic, brothers Will and Charlie Mayo, attended the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

“Ireland is delighted to support the work of Mayo Clinic to develop medical technologies that will benefit patients worldwide and this project fits well with the medical technology strategy supported by the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. There is great potential for job creation in 10 ‘spin-out’ companies Enterprise Ireland aims to create from this collaboration.”

Med tech image via Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com