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Pfizer Adds To Drug Manufacturing In Ireland

U.S. drug company will increase pharmaceutical capacity, invest in flow processing

by Alex Scott
July 18, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 29

Pfizer is investing $100 million to increase manufacturing capacity at its facility for biologic drugs in Grange Castle, Ireland, and a further $30 million to add new capabilities, including continuous production of small-molecule drugs, in Ringaskiddy, Ireland.

In Grange Castle, the firm will build an additional mammalian cell culture line for manufacturing the protein-based rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel. To be completed by 2015, the project will double the plant’s productivity, Pfizer says, and allow the firm to use it to make other therapies currently under development.

In Ringaskiddy, Pfizer will install specialized facilities to manufacture some of its newest medicines for cancer treatment and other areas. The firm says it will install production facilities for flow processing and other innovative technologies and to deepen its R&D skills in areas such as real-time analytics.

The investments will “help secure and protect the scale of both sites,” Pfizer says. The firm employs 1,100 people in Grange Castle and 450 in Ringaskiddy.

No new pharmaceutical jobs will be created by the projects, however, which is a disappointment for a country whose economy contracted 0.6% in the first quarter of the year and where 13.5% of the population is unemployed.

Many of the world’s leading pharma firms continue to invest in Ireland, attracted by a corporate tax rate of just 12.5%. In the past 18 months AbbVie, Allergan, Amgen, Aspen, Eli Lilly & Co., and Glaxo­SmithKline have all announced investments in the country, says Barry Heavey, head of life sciences for Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency.


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