Aerogen signs major licensing deal with Dutch giant Philips

Galway-based medical device company to licence out its nebuliser technology

[From left to right] Paul Connaughton,  principal engineer at Aerogen, John Power, Aerogen chief executive, and Brendan Hogan director of engineering at Aerogen. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times

[From left to right] Paul Connaughton, principal engineer at Aerogen, John Power, Aerogen chief executive, and Brendan Hogan director of engineering at Aerogen. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times

Tue, Jan 7, 2014, 14:48

Galway-based medical device company Aerogen is to licence out its nebuliser technology to Dutch electronics giant Philips.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed but it is known to involve a significant upfront payment and further royalty income based on the use of the technology.

As part of the deal, Philips has also acquired several assets related to Aerogen’s homecare nebuliser product range.

The company’s patented vibrating mesh technology turns liquid medication into a fine particle mist, which can deliver drugs directly into the lungs of patients.

The technology, which is covered by over 40 patents, is used to treat sufferers of cystic fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory disorders.

The company said it expected to hit turnover of €28 million this year on the back of the deal and to add a further 20 research and development-related posts at its headquarters in Dangan business park - bringing the total workforce to 80.

Aerogen’s existing acute care and home ventilator drug delivery business is not affected by the transaction, it said, and no employees would be obliged to transfer to Philips.

The announcement caps off a highly successful year for the company which has seen the business grow by 39 per in 2013.

“This is a key strategic transaction for Aerogen as it allows us to focus on expanding our core business in the acute care setting, whilst facilitating consistency of care for respiratory patients from hospital to home,” Aerogen founder and chief executive John Power said.

“Our acute care business has grown at a phenomenal rate over the past five years. Working with the global leaders in acute care ventilation and our independent distribution network, we are today recognised as the gold standard for aerosol delivery in acute care ventilation,” he said.

“With several important new product releases planned for early 2014 we look forward to expanding our leadership position across all areas of aerosol drug delivery in the hospital environment.”

Philips said the deal would strengthen its innovation capabilities and its portfolio of respiratory drug delivery products.

Established in 1997, Aerogen is now a world leader in the provsion of nebuliser equipment in acute care settings.

It currently employs more than 60 graduates, predominantly with qualifications in science, engineering and business disciplines.

Its products play an important role in treating patients on life support ventilation in over 65 countries .

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