Mayo Clinic today announced a five-year collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, the Irish enterprise development agency, to advance novel medical technologies originating from Mayo Clinic. The announcement was made this morning in Dublin by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., the prime minister of Ireland, at the Medical Device 360° conference.
This is a unique collaboration providing an alternative source of funding for translational medical research, especially significant at a time when U.S. funding for research is challenging to obtain. Enterprise Ireland has committed up to $16 million in the agreement.
"This collaboration bridges a financial gap for translational research," says Greg Gores, M.D., executive dean for research at Mayo Clinic. "It provides funding in between the early-stage basic research and the stage when a technology is ready for the marketplace. In the U.S., this stage is expensive and difficult to fund. We are providing the technologies and Enterprise Ireland the funding. Both of us are contributing to technology advancement."
The novel medical technologies are Mayo Clinic innovations that have the potential to make it easier for patients to be diagnosed or treated. The development of one technology is already underway at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI.G). The inventor, Vijay Singh, M.B.B.S., a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, developed a device to treat acute pancreatitis, a disease in which the pancreas is rapidly damaged, causing excruciating pain and often resulting in prolonged hospitalization or sometimes death. Experts at NUI.G are currently preparing the device for human clinical trials, which will be conducted by the university.
"This relationship exemplifies our capabilities to improve medicine and our commitment to be of service globally," says John Noseworthy, M.D. president and CEO, Mayo Clinic. "It provides a unique way of furthering the research and development of innovations that have high potential to make a difference in patient care and alleviate the burdens of human disease."
Welcoming the agreement, the Taoiseach says "This agreement between Mayo Clinic U.S and Enterprise Ireland is highly significant from an economic perspective and builds on an Irish connection with Mayo Clinic extending back to the 19th century, when the founders of the Mayo Clinic, brothers Will and Charlie Mayo, attended the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.
"Ireland is delighted to support the work of Mayo Clinic to develop medical technologies that will benefit patients worldwide and this project fits well with the medical technology strategy supported by the Government's Action Plan for Jobs. There is great potential for job creation in the 10 'spin-out' companies Enterprise Ireland aims to create from this collaboration."
Mayo will propose technologies, which will be judged on merit by Enterprise Ireland. Research teams in Irish universities and academic institutes will use funding from Enterprise Ireland to further develop and commercialize the chosen technologies, including engineering and clinical trials. Manufacturing and distribution would occur when companies are formed around the resulting products.
According to Dr. Keith O'Neill, Enterprise Ireland's director of Lifesciences commercialization, "Enterprise Ireland's Commercialisation Fund is unique in its ability to support the development of a novel technology into a product. Enterprise Ireland will work with Mayo Clinic to create new companies around these world-class technologies. As part of this agreement, some of these new companies may also establish a presence in Minnesota U.S., close to Mayo Clinic, benefiting the local economy there, as well as in Ireland."
Source: Mayo Clinic