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January 5th, 2012

Cook Medical invests 16.5m euro in R&D in Ireland

Dublin – Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD today announced that Cook Medical, the largest privately owned medical device company in the world, is to invest up to €16.5m over four years creating highly skilled positions in Research and Development activities at its Limerick site, with Government support through IDA Ireland.

Established in Limerick in 1996, Cook Medical’s Irish operation has grown from eight employees to over 630, becoming one of the leading medical device employers in the country. The recent winner of the Irish Medical Technology Company of the Year Award, Cook Medical’s dedicated R&D team has built strong relationships with local education institutions such as the University of Limerick, offering work experience opportunities and funding for collaborative research.

This new R&D investment will focus on two projects: the establishment of a state-of-the-art Research and Development laboratory and further enhance Cook Ireland’s position as a global design centre for the development of self-expanding stents and delivery devices.

The state-of-the-art lab will be designed with the objective of fostering innovation through enhanced collaboration with doctors and clinicians, developing new anatomical models to provide a more realistic environment for product evaluation and testing prior to commercial release.

The second project involves the establishment of Cook Ireland as the key site for R&D for the Zilver product line; a flagship range of peripheral intervention devices at Cook Medical. The Limerick-based site is currently the sole manufacturing plant for the Zilver® PTX Drug-Eluting Peripheral Stent, the world’s first approved drug-eluting stent for use in the Superficial Femoral Artery. This new investment will enable Cook Ireland to create an R&D team exclusively for this product pipeline and expand its current capabilities of endoscopy and urology product R&D.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said “a key part of my plan to get jobs and growth back into the economy again is to target sectors where Ireland has distinct advantages and the potential for large-scale jobs growth. Life sciences and medical devices are sectors where we have built up very substantial strength over a period of many years: the challenge now is to build on that to achieve the jobs growth we need.”

“Today’s announcement that the largest privately-owned medical devices company in the world is investing heavily in research and development of its next generation of products is great news for Limerick and for Ireland.”

Commenting on the announcement, Bill Doherty, Cook Medical executive vice-president EMEA said, “The IDA’s continued recognition of the importance of R&D facilities for the future growth of the Irish Med Tech Industry and Cook Medical in particular is warmly welcomed. The IDA has been an outstanding partner of Cook Medical’s over the past 16 years. Their support, coupled with R&D tax credits, has contributed to year-on-year growth and enabled target milestones to be achieved. This latest investment will help to future-proof Cook Medical’s commitment to Ireland, enabling us to lead the development of the next generation of medical devices and continue the improvement of patient outcomes.”

Welcoming the investment, IDA Ireland CEO, Barry O’Leary said “I would like to offer Cook Ireland my congratulations on securing this important R&D funding from its parent company. The complexity of the project is a key endorsement of the calibre of personnel working in the Limerick site and further solidifies the company in Ireland. Cook is a significant employer in the Mid-West region and is an important player within the Medical device cluster in Ireland.”

Cook Medical is part of the larger Cook Group Incorporated which includes R&D capabilities in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, cell therapies as well as medical devices.

About Cook Medical
Founded in 1963, Cook Medical pioneered many of the medical devices now commonly used to perform minimally invasive medical procedures throughout the body. Today, the company integrates medical devices, drugs and biologic grafts to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes. Since its inception, Cook has operated as a family-held private corporation. For more information, visit Follow Cook Medical on Twitter @cookmedicalpr.