An Irish medical technology company that has developed a groundbreaking inhaler vaccine is set to double its workforce to 1,000.
The Aerogen company plans to hire an additional 500 workers after its aerosol inhaler was used in China’s refresher program.
Shaped like a coffee cup, the inhaler is the first of its kind to deliver a vaccine directly into the airway, eliminating the need for injections.
Aerogen CEO John Power said the company likely doubled its workforce to 500 in the last three years and will likely do so again in the next three years.
Last week China announced it would relax the most serious elements of its controversial zero-Covid policy.
Mr Power claims his company – which was recently named Ireland’s Technology Exporter of the Year at the Asia Matters Business Awards – played a “significant” role in this.
He said the absence of a needle in China’s new booster program, which uses the Dangan-based company’s technology, means more numbers, particularly the elderly, are now willing to get a booster shot.
It is approved for use in 11 of China’s 31 provinces and also uses only one-fifth the amount of vaccine compared to the subcutaneous method.
The contract to supply booster doses developed by Chinese vaccine company CanSinoBio is worth “tens of millions” to Aerogen – and Mr Power expects additional orders as European drug companies start to show interest.
“The more people you can convince to get vaccinated, the greater the chances of containment [of the virus],” he said.
“This is seen as a fairly significant step on the way to China. It could really be a game changer.”
Mr Power said doing business in China presents “unique” challenges.
“There are many opportunities, but you can get burned if you don’t work with the right people,” he said.
“The important thing is that you have to have good partners in China. In our case, CanSinoBio is a publicly traded company – they are certainly not overnight, but are considered leaders in vaccine science in China and internationally.”
Aerogen was recognized at the Asia Matters Business Awards in Dublin, organized each year by Irish think tank Asia Matters.
Asia Matters CEO Martin Murray said: “The government has said it wants two-way trade with Asia to reach €100 billion by 2025.
“The quality of this year’s participants in our awards shows that this goal is certainly achievable.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/galway-based-aerogen-to-hire-500-as-inhaler-is-used-in-chinas-covid-booster-programme-42217744.html Galway-based company Aerogen is hiring 500 as an inhaler to be used in China’s Covid booster scheme