Heart valve company to move elsewhere

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The decision by medical devices company, JenaValve, to pull out of Sligo has been described as “a commercial one and is in no way a reflection on the Irish location”.

In a statement this week, IDA Ireland “notes with regret” the confirmation by JenaValve Technology Inc. that it is to “discontinue its Sligo operation”.

It said a consultation process underway at present with its employees is expected to wind up in the coming days. It is understood the company is moving the operation planned for Sligo to the UK.

The company had recruited 18 staff here who were undergoing a training course at St Angela’s College. The course was specifically designed to take unemployed people off the Live Register for training.

With bases in California and Germany develops, JenaValve manufactures and markets heart valve systems to treat patients suffering from aortic valve disease and the Sligo operation was to manufacture the next generation of heart valves from the firm.

Located within the IT Sligo Innovation Centre to begin with the company was expected to move in due course to a bespoke facility in Finisklin as employee numbers increased.

The announcement of JenaValve coming to Sligo was made by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton while in the United States last October.

At the time he described the announcement as “a great boost for Sligo and the North West”.

While no figure was put on the expected number of jobs it was expected at the time to be “significant”.

Yesterday, Wednesday, the IDA said that JenaValve was “keen to stress that local support has been excellent and their consideration of the option to possibly
relocate operations is a commercial one and is in no way a reflection on the Irish location”.

“Sligo continues to be a highly successful FDI (foreign direct investment) location and IDA will continue its efforts to attract further investment to the region”, the statement said.

In a separate statement, JenaValve said that it “has engaged an alternate commercial opportunity to accelerate its manufacturing strategy”, which would result in its Irish operations “being discontinued”.

The statement goes on: “JenaValve recognises the accomplishments achieved in Sligo County and Ireland; particularly the partnerships with our employees and local networks.

“JenaValve is confident in its choice to establish its valve operations in Sligo and is proud to have pioneered and opened new doors for the Irish medical device sector within structural heart disease.”

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