Pictured from left: Paddy McMahon Director of HR, Frank Ryan, Chairman of the IDA Ireland, Simon Coveney, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Julian Blair, Vice President – R&D, Andy Crowley, General Manager & Managing Director, Teva Waterford

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney paid a visit to Teva Waterford on Friday last (9 November, 2018).

The Waterford site is focussed upon the research, development and production of next generation products for the treatment of respiratory conditions.

The visit to the facility formed part of a wider series of events undertaken by the Tánaiste across the county and culminated in an address by the Tánaiste to the Waterford Chamber Annual Dinner on Friday night.

Teva’s Waterford facility, located in the Waterford Industrial Estate, has been in operation since 1985 and currently employs 610 people from the county and surrounding areas. The company is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for the attraction and retention of inward foreign direct investment into Ireland.

The facility is recognised as a global leader, not just in the Teva network but in the wider pharmaceutical industry, in the development of next generation respiratory devices including inhalers used in the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Today the facility manufactures and exports respiratory products with a net value of over €1 billion to markets across the globe.

The Tánaiste’s delegation included Frank Ryan, Chairman of the IDA Ireland and Shay Power, VP Pharmaceuticals Development, IDA Ireland and Brendan McDonald, South East Regional Manager, IDA Ireland, who were greeted and given a tour of the facility by Teva management including Julian Blair, Vice President – R&D, Andy Crowley, General Manager & Managing Director, Teva Waterford and Paddy McMahon Director of HR.

The Tánaiste’s visit, overall, had a clear emphasis on acknowledging the significant achievements already realised by local pharma companies such as Teva in developing Waterford as an important cluster for pharmaceutical manufacturing in Ireland, whilst also exploring how these successes can be built upon.

The Tánaiste’s site visit to Teva’s Waterford facility followed through on this theme of building and innovating for the future, with much of his site visit focused on the innovative research currently underway at the R&D facility.

As part of the visit the delegation were briefed on the ground-breaking research underway at the facility to develop state-of-the-art inhalation devices to more effectively treat chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma.

This work includes the development of a “smart inhaler”, currently under development at the facility. This inhaler of the future combines conventional asthma medication with Bluetooth technology and Internet connectivity thereby allowing a patient’s inhaler to track and monitor their condition and adherence to their medication regime.

The core objective of such a smart inhaler is to support patients in better managing their condition while also utilising digital technology to give treating healthcare professionals a better understanding of the patient’s condition over a prolonged period.

Commenting on the visit, Julian Blair noted:

“We were delighted to welcome the Tánaiste to our facility today. Teva has a long history in Waterford stretching back over 30 years. Throughout that time, our company has always been focused on the future of healthcare and pharma and developing and innovating new products and devices to meet that objective.

“Over the past three decades, in addition to our dedicated and committed staff, key stakeholders such as Government and local elected representatives, State agencies like the IDA, and the wider local community have all played a role in supporting our company” added Mr Blair.

“Today’s visit by the Tánaiste and wider delegation acknowledges our track record as a pharmaceutical leader and significant employer in the region. However, even more importantly, the visit was an opportunity for Teva to reaffirm our commitment to Waterford and set out our plans for the future to the Tánaiste and wider Government which he represents.

“We are currently working to enhance and develop our facility for the future, with further developments expected in the period ahead.

“Our existing strong track record in research and development and pharmaceutical device innovation in particular, with initiatives such as the Smart Inhaler, are testament to the exciting work underway at our Waterford site and our potential to continue our innovation journey,” added Mr. Blair.

Commenting on the company’s presence in Waterford, IDA Ireland’s South East Regional Manager Brendan McDonald said “Teva is an innovative and progressivepharmaceuticals company which is located in a significant cluster of Life Science companies in Waterford and the wider south east region.  The south east region has much to offer potential investors - a good mix of skills and talent, the required infrastructure and excellent support services which all assist companies wishing to scale and grow. We are delighted to continue to work with Teva as they grow and diversify their product ranges here in Waterford.”