Business Irish

Saturday 25 February 2017

Aerogen product development to cost €60m over next five years, says Power

Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Drug/device combination products would aim to develop drugs to be used specifically with Aerogen's products (Getty Images)
Drug/device combination products would aim to develop drugs to be used specifically with Aerogen's products (Getty Images)

Aerogen's pharmaceutical business is likely to need around €60m of capital over the next five years to complete plans to develop drug/device combination products.

Chief executive John Power said that up to now the money for the programme has been coming from cash flows from the company's more well-known device business - its products enable drugs to be delivered through ventilators using aerosol technology.

"Down the road we'll either bring in a partner alongside us on the drug programme or there is the potential that we could bring the pharmaceutics company public on its own in a few years' time. All things are possible, we'll just keep the options open ... some of [the capital] will come and currently does come from the group," Power told the Sunday Independent.

The drug/device combination products would aim to develop drugs to be used specifically with Aerogen's products.

"There's one drug that's used in heart surgery and another drug that's used for premature babies. They're two drugs that have known efficacy but we want to deliver them through our system in a very controlled manner and we think we'll get pretty good results in terms of clinical benefits for patients.

"But those are expensive, you can't do drugs programmes cheaply. These are very expensive and will probably cost between them €60m over the next probably five years," Power said.

He said the company wants to grow its device business by expanding its technology into emergency departments and operating rooms. Currently its products are known mainly for use in intensive care units.

"Those are two big focuses of ours. The emergency department first, and next will be the operating room where we think there's great opportunities also," Power said.

He said the company has been doing a lot of business in the last year in the Middle East.

"It's a great market for us. We've recently set up a distributor in Iran. That's one of those markets that with sanctions and everything has pretty much been closed off for years. You've got a very good medical base there. You've got a patient population around the size of Germany, so it's pretty much an untouched market."

Sunday Indo Business

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