€900k deal will cut hospital stays

WORK to improve healing after surgery and reduce the time patients have to spend in hospital is getting underway at an Irish university.

The partnership between National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and one of the world’s biggest healthcare products firms is valued at €900,000 and is part of a €1.8 million investment planned between Covidien and a number of Irish third-level colleges.

The projects outlined yesterday include work with a biomaterial already developed by Covidien that helps speed up the healing of surgical wounds. The firm has chosen NUIG to see if it can find other functions the gel could also perform.

“This research will be looking at how you might deliver another agent into the body; it could be for pain relief, anti-infection delivery or even something like chemotherapy. So as well as reducing surgery time by taking out the need for stitches, you could also shorten healing time and also the length of time a patient needs to stay in hospital,” said Covidien surgical devices president Scott Flora.

NUIG’s Centre for Pain Research and Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials are central to the latest projects for Covidien, which earlier this year announced an €11m European services centre that will employ 200 in Dublin.

Health Minister Mary Harney said the announcement will help to ensure Ireland continues to produce high-quality researchers who can innovate new technologies and design robust scientific research that will contribute to improving patient health and safety.

Details of the company’s third project in its €1.8m research investment in Ireland are expected in the coming months.

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