US pharma giant West invests in Dublin start-up Latch Medical

Ronan Byrne, CEO of Latch Medical, said the company could ‘rapidly increase the impact’ of its drug delivery tech with the investment from West.

US-headquartered West Pharmaceutical Services has made a minority investment in Dublin’s Latch Medical.

Latch Medical is a developer of vaccine and biologics delivery platforms. Its Pharma Latch technology offers two delivery device platforms that allow for intradermal delivery of drugs and vaccines with rapid, consistent dosing. It is low cost and requires minimal training for medical professionals to use.

It was spun out of University College Dublin in 2019 by founders Ronan Byrne and Nicky Bertollo. It is now based at the NovaUCD hub for entrepreneurs at the university.

Existing investors in Latch Medical include Atlantic Bridge and Enterprise Ireland. Details about the West investment amount and stake size are not being released.

Latch Medical’s CEO, Byrne, said the start-up “can rapidly increase the impact” of its technology with the investment from West.

“West’s investment in Latch advances our leadership in innovation through a dedicated focus on the needs of patients,” added Cormac Ashe, West’s senior director of R&D based in Dublin.

“The methods by which medicines are delivered to patients continue to evolve to meet their desire for ease-of-use and effectiveness. Latch’s innovative intradermal delivery technology fits well into this strategy.”

West has been in business for close to 100 years. It employs more than 1,000 people in Ireland and more than 10,000 worldwide across 50 sites.

West has a manufacturing and development centre in Dublin that specialises in providing device design, development and manufacturing services for pharma and medtech customers. Last September, it pledged to create 60 jobs with the opening of a new global finance centre in the capital.

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The company also has a site in Waterford. During the pandemic, West scaled up its Waterford plant’s working schedules, supplying millions of rubber vial stoppers its global customers to package billions of vaccine doses in multi-dose vials.

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