Galway’s Aerogen plays key role in Covid-19 therapies

Company’s aerosol drug delivery technology being used to deliver inhaled treatment

Aerogen chief executive, John Power

Aerogen chief executive, John Power


Galway-based medtech company Aerogen is playing a key role in the development of more than 15 potential therapies for Covid-19, including a promising inhaled interferon treatment.

Hospitals around the world are using Aerogen’s closed-circuit nebuliser technology to deliver aerosolised medication to critically ill ventilated Covid-19 patients. The Aerogen Solo is a closed-system, single-patient-use aerosol drug delivery technology that mitigates the transmission of patient-generated infectious aerosol during ventilation.

“In the early days of the pandemic, hospitals were discouraged from using any type of aerosol for Covid-19 treatment – which is understandable given the nature of the virus,” said John Power, chief executive and founder of Aerogen. “Now, it’s clear to health systems worldwide that aerosol drug delivery can be done with improved safety but is an absolute necessity for managing this global crisis. Covid-19 has only reinforced the important role Aerogen plays in safely and effectively delivering treatments to patients across the world.”

The company formed a Covid response unit in March to support projects researching potential treatments and vaccines, and is now working with global pharmaceutical companies on the safe delivery of inhaled therapies. Aerogen’s technology is being used in several clinical trials, with others set to begin with moderately and severely ill Covid-19 in the coming weeks.

Nebuliser system

The collaborations include a deal with UK-based biotech Synairgen to provide its nebuliser system for delivery of SNG001, an inhaled interferon beta, directly into the lungs of Covid-19 patients. Initial studies have been promising, with hospitalised patients receiving the therapy at reduced risk of developing severe disease and more than twice as likely to recover to the ‘no limitation of activities’ level over the course of treatment.

“Aerogen is a highly regarded global company known for providing safe and effective aerosol drug delivery,” said Richard Marsden, chief executive of Synairgen. “Ensuring that SGN001 is paired with optimal delivery technology is a vital component of our work to bring this potential treatment to market at scale. Aerogen is our choice because of its proven reputation for drug delivery efficiency and reliability, suitability for use with a wide range of ventilatory support modalities, established high-volume manufacturing and prior regulatory approvals across the globe.”

Aerogen’s devices are used in 75 countries, with its customers including 80 per cent of hospitals in the Republic and 60 per cent of the top 100 hospitals in the United States. More than 10 million patients globally have been treated with Aerogen’s drug delivery technology.

The company, which started work on an expansion at its facility in Galway last October to support growth, has won a number of awards, including European Entrepreneur of the Year, medical technology company of the year and Irish exporter of the year. It has also been a finalist in both the Irish Times Innovation awards and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.