|Traded as||ASX: COH|
|Key people||Dr Chris Roberts (CEO)
Rick Holliday-Smith (Chairman)
|Revenue||A$752 million (2013) |
|Net income||A$136 million (2013) |
|Employees||2,700 in 25 countries (2013)|
Cochlear (ASX: COH) is a global biotechnology company that designs, manufactures and supplies the Nucleus cochlear implant, the Hybrid electro-acoustic implant and the Baha bone conduction implant.
Based in Sydney, Cochlear was formed in 1981 with finance from the Australian government to commercialise the implants pioneered by Dr Graeme Clark. Today, the company holds over two-thirds of the worldwide hearing implant market, with more than 250,000 people receiving one of Cochlear's implants since 1982.
Cochlear produces three implants for different medical situations.
Nucleus is a system combining an electrical simulation device that is surgically implanted behind a patient's ear, a processor that captures sounds, and an electrode array that relays the sounds to the brain. It is a direct descendant of the original cochlear implants, also known as Nucleus, developed by Dr Graeme Clark in Melbourne during the 1970s. Nucleus was the first cochlear implant to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The system is upgradable, for example by installing a new sound processor, without surgery. Cochlear's latest processor, Nucleus 6, was launched in 2013 after six years of development. In 2013, the Nucleus implant recorded 99% reliability over the last 8 years, more than any similar product.
Hybrid is an electro-acoustic system combining a cochlear implant with an acoustic hearing aid, suitable for patients who have residual hearing at low frequencies. The implant of the Hybrid system is a smaller variant of Nucleus, with an electrode that relays only high frequency sounds, while the acoustic component amplifies low frequency sounds and transmits them to the brain through the ordinary nerve pathway. Hybrid was launched in 2008 and won Australian Engineering Excellence and International Design Awards in 2009.
Baha (derived from bone anchored hearing aid) is a bone conduction system involving a small titanium implant that is ossointegrated with the bone behind a patient's ear. A sound processor captures sounds, which is passed to the implant and directly transferred to the inner ear through the skull. Baha was originally produced by Swedish biotechnology group Entific Medical Systems before that company was acquired by Cochlear in 2005.
Cochlear manufactures principally in Sweden and Australia, including at a purpose-built facility at Macquarie University in Sydney. The company's products are supplied to over 100 countries internationally, with annual sales of $297 million in the Americas, $285 million in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and $123 million in the Asia-Pacific as of 2012. Cochlear spent $119.3 million on research and development in 2012.
In 2011, reports arose of Nucleus model CI500 implants shutting down, although less than 1% of devices were affected and the failures posed health risks. Cochlear funded a complete recall of the model, with an older version of the Nucleus implant being available as a replacement. The company spent $101.3 million on the recall.
- "ASX and Media Release FY13 Results" (PDF).
- "Annual report 2012". Cochlear. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "History: Who developed the cochlear implant and why?". Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "History". Cochlear. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Australia's Cochlear plans to return implant to market". Reuters. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Questions mount over Cochlear's top status". 9 News. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear named most innovative company". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Most innovative growth companies". Forbes. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "The cochlear implant". Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear implants technical report". American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Hearing company Cochlear stakes growth on new range". Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear Nucleus Reliability Report 2013". Cochlear. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear Hybrid hearing system 2008". Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Baha implant". University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear buys into Sweden". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "New technologies push growth of Cochlear". BioSpectrum Asia. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear 'well placed for growth trend'". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Hearing aid company's shares drop sharply as Cochlear recalls product". News Limited. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear shares plummet on product recall". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Cochlear reports $77.7m H1 profit as it recovers from recall". The Australian. Retrieved 22 June 2013.