Irish State agency Enterprise Ireland says biomedical research at NUI Galway is
"revolutionising" the way patients can be cared for and creating high-value
research jobs in the process.
Technologies developed at the university, with
funding from Enterprise Ireland, have attracted significant investment from
global biomedical testing leader, Beckman Coulter. Beckman Coulter has now
established a new Irish-based company, Beckman Coulter Biomedical Ltd. and has
signed a four year, multi-million euro collaborative research agreement with NUI
Galway which will see the creation of a team of 10 Masters and PhD researchers,
based in Galway, to carry out the research programme.
This strategic investment by Enterprise Ireland
in technology and IP development has been key to attracting
Beckman Coulter to
develop, in Ireland, products for molecular diagnostics worldwide. Further
investment from IDA now supports Beckman Coulter’s decision to grow this
business from Galway.
No figures have been published on the investment nor
the commitment by Beckman Coulter. We are awaiting information on whether
patents have been granted in respect of the technologies.
Enterprise Ireland says it has been working with NUI
Galway on the development and commercialisation of these technologies for almost
10 years, providing research and patent funding and support in finding
industrial partners for the emerging technologies. The two main technologies,
developed by Dr Tom Barry, Dr. Majella Maher and Professor Terry Smith at NUI
Galway, are fundamental to Beckman Coulter’s “sample to result” molecular
Beckman Coulter plans to develop a molecular
platform and has invested in several technology acquisitions and licenses. The
NUI Galway Nucleic acids gene targets are the enabling technology that will
unite the underpinning technologies in which Beckman Coulter has already
The agreement with NUI Galway provides Beckman
Coulter with “access to intellectual property for the development of tests for
infectious diseases including sepsis; hospital-acquired infections; and sexually
transmitted diseases, such as Chlamydia and Neisseria,” said
Mike Whelan, group
vice president of Beckman’s High Sensitivity Testing group.
Dr Paul Roben, Director
of Lifescience & Food Commercialisation at Enterprise Ireland said,
“Enterprise Ireland continues to support NUI Galway as the university’s
biomedical research strategy evolves to bring cutting-edge solutions to the
needs of patients in the healthcare system and bring economic benefits to
Ireland. We are delighted to see these research and commercialisation efforts
come to fruition.”
"We are excited to partner with Beckman Coulter
on this unique initiative," said Dr. Daniel O'Mahony,
Director, Technology Transfer at NUI Galway. "It underpins our
commitment to, and support of, research excellence and exemplifies our stated
research strategy: creating an environment that values intellectual property and
promoting technology transfer and commercialization activity among University
researchers and industry partners. This collaboration brings together molecular
diagnostic expertise at NUI Galway with automated solution expertise at Beckman
Coulter that will result in the development of breakthrough technologies for the
diagnosis of a variety of infectious diseases in humans."
Beckman Coulter, Inc. is a
manufacturer of biomedical testing instrument systems, tests and supplies that
simplify and automate laboratory processes. Spanning the biomedical testing
continuum—from pioneering medical research and clinical trials to laboratory
diagnostics and point-of-care testing—Beckman Coulter's 200,000 installed
systems provide essential biomedical information to enhance health care around
the world. The company, based in Fullerton, California, reported 2006 annual
sales of $2.53 billion with 75 percent of this amount generated by recurring
revenue from supplies, test kits and services.
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