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Spin-out company to focus on healthcare technology

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has announced the creation of a spin-out company, i360medical, that will help move healthcare research and innovative medical technologies from the lab to the market.

The company would tap into Ireland’s growing involvement in medical devices research and manufacturing to help create jobs and exports, Richard Bruton, the jobs, enterprise and innovation minister, said in Dublin on 20 September.

The company was formed from the college’s former Centre for Innovation in Surgical Technology. The spin-out is expected to be more aggressive than its forerunner in providing services to multinational companies in the medical devices sector and assist in translating near-to-market discoveries into products, the college said.

In particular it wants to take the extensive clinical expertise available to the college and combine it with research capacity and the medical technologies industry “to commercialise new ideas and solutions”. These were “traditionally separate sectors”, the college said, but i360medical aims to pull together the clinical, academic and business sectors.

The company already has links with healthcare companies, but the college announced the additional involvement of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, Kernel Capital and with Synecor. Cleveland is a venture-funding company involved in the healthcare sector, Kernel is an Irish venture fund and Synecor is a US-based medical technology development company. All three have agreed to work with i360medical and its Irish partners, the college said.

The i360medical model would support the development of new medical devices, said Derek Young, former head of the college’s Centre for Innovation in Surgical Technology and now CEO of the new company. Ireland had a “unique opportunity” to become a global leader in medical technologies, he said.

The new company employs six and expects to expand to 20 by the end of next year. It wants to become a major supplier of outsourced research and development for medical technology companies, the college said.

The Royal College of Surgeons will continue to work with i360medical but other academic research centres will contribute, including the Tyndall National Institute, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, the National University of Ireland Galway and the University of Limerick. The company is also working with Enterprise Ireland and funder Science Foundation Ireland to support indigenous companies involved in research in the medical technologies sector.