UCD spinout seeks €30m, McDonagh’s new service station, and hydrogen testing

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

The Portlaoise Plaza on Junction 17 on the M7, which will open on Friday. Photograph: Alf Harvey

The Portlaoise Plaza on Junction 17 on the M7, which will open on Friday. Photograph: Alf Harvey

 

UCD spinout drug company Atxa Therapeutics, which is developing novel therapies that tackle a deadly heart condition, is seeking to raise $30 million to bring its treatment through clinical trials and secure regulatory approval. Charlie Taylor reports

State company Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) plans to begin testing hydrogen as it bids to find low-carbon energy supplies to replace our dwindling natural gas reserves. Barry O’Halloran has the details.

Pat McDonagh’s Plaza Group will open its seventh motorway service station this week, creating 120 new jobs at its facility in Portlaoise after an investment of €10 million. Peter Hamilton reports.

Irish property investment group Urbeo is looking to take advantage of the market disruption caused by Covid-19 to expand its interests to include other property sectors. The move comes as Eileen Fitzpatrick, former head of State agency NewERA, joins the board as a non-executive director. Ronald Quinlan has the background.

Consumer confidence stalled in July as worries about the weakness of the economy came to the fore, according to a survey by Bank of Ireland which measures both business and consumer sentiment. Peter Hamilton reports.

Supports for the tourism sector in last week’s stimulus plan were short term and lacked ambition, according to Sean O’Driscoll, chief executive of iNua Hospitality, which operates a portfolio of hotels across the country.

Sticking with the stimulus plan, the €440 million cost of cutting the top VAT rate would have been better spent investing in our universities, argues Chris Johns in his weekly column.

Hiring in a pandemic is not always as easy as it looks, writes FT columninst Pilita Clark.

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