Enabling and Scaling: the Aerogen and University of Limerick story
For Aerogen to win the Medical Technology Company of the Year Award and the University of Limerick (UL) to win the Medical Technology Academic, in 2013 at the Medical Technology Industry Excellence Awards is the icing on the cake for what has been a fantastic collaboration.
“In short, the interaction has had significant impact (and) enabled us to sustain our technology”, Brendan Hogan, Director of Engineering, Aerogen.
An issue of scale
Aerogen knew that to achieve a corner in the market they needed to improve and scale up the technology associated with their nebulisers. The issue of scaling up is one that all small companies are acutely aware of. However Aerogen’s Director of Engineering, Brendan Hogan knew that a solution might be found in an interaction with UL. He was very aware of the expertise at UL and understood how a research collaboration might achieve a solution for their problem that bore less risk than hiring in consultants.
Tailored collaboration and access to IP
“The main work here was the two years of co-development between Dr. Mark Southern’s team at UL and Aerogen’s R&D teams. It was great to be able to be involved in facilitating the project getting started and in closing things out with a technology license, patent filed and royalties back to the University.” Paul Dillon, Director, Technology Transfer Office, UL.
Aerogen has developed a significant technological enhancement to aspects of the vibrating core technology in their acute care aerosol drug delivery nebulisers which has enabled the company to scale the production of its core technology, ensuring a predictable and reliable production process. The resulting Solo II wastes no drugs in delivery and is four times more efficient than its nearest competitor.
“This is the classic case of what is possible when a University of UL’s calibre can match its capabilities to a company with an interesting problem.” Paul Dillon, Director, Technology Transfer Office, UL.
Impact: national and global
The impact of the collaboration has been considerable. As a result of the technology development, Aerogen's complete 'design and delivery' supply-chain has now been gathered in from five different countries and efficiently consolidated in two Irish companies, making the Solo II the most cost-efficient nebuliser available today. And generating new jobs for Ireland.
The new nebulising technology has gone global immediately and has been adopted by Philips, Siemens and GE Medical. It is also on the front line of worldwide healthcare, ready to play a key role in nebulising the measles vaccine.
Publish date: 2014
Find out more about working with third-level research