Latch Medical secures backing from global pharma services firm West

Minority stake in UCD spin-out is strategic investment, says company

Irish start-up Latch Medical has received backing from a big global pharmaceutical services company.

West Pharmaceutical Services, which specialises in injectable drug administration, said it had taken a minority stake in the company as a strategic investment, but did not provide details on the size of the stake or the value of the investment.

Latch Medical is a University College Dublin spin-out headquartered at NovaUCD that makes next-generation vaccine and biologics delivery technology. It is pioneering a new approach to intradermal delivery, with its Pharma Latch technology offering two delivery device platforms with rapid, consistent dosing.

‘Extensive experience’

A low-cost platform, Pharma Latch can facilitate higher drug loads than previous microneedle technologies and requires minimal training for clinicians.


“We have put our extensive experience of skin biomechanics and understanding of the challenges of intradermal delivery into the development of Pharma Latch. It is a novel technology that can replace traditional injections and infusions and look to realize the potential of intradermal delivery,” said Latch chief executive Ronan Byrne. “With this investment from West, we can rapidly increase the impact of our technology.”

Latch’s existing investors include Atlantic Bridge and Enterprise Ireland. This new investment by West follows a strategy of investing in medtech start-ups to drive innovation and create partnerships that will improve medical care and make it more efficient.

“West’s investment in Latch advances our leadership in innovation through a dedicated focus on the needs of patients,” said Cormac Ashe, West’s Dublin-based senior director of research and development. “The methods by which medicines are delivered to patients continue to evolve to meet their desire for ease-of-use and effectiveness. Latch’s innovative intradermal delivery technology fits well into this strategy.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist