Monday, May 21, 2007

Luck of the Irish brings new biologics base

The Irish job machine rolls on...

21/05/2007 - Proposals for the construction of a new small-scale biologics manufacturing plant in Ireland courtesy of pharma heavyweight Pfizer emerged late last week.

The company is considering investing in a site in Shanbally, County Cork, right next to its existing active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Ringaskiddy, at an estimated cost of €175m.

While the plans are still at a very early stage, with the company having only just applied for planning permission at the site, it will come as welcome news to the area which only three months ago was dealt a blow when Pfizer announced it would be cutting jobs and capacity at the Ringaskiddy API plant.

The new facility is due to be used for Phase III clinical trial products and initial product launches, and will follow the trend of many biologics manufacturers by using disposable technologies to ensure maximum flexibility in production.

Although the plans have yet to officially receive the seal of approval and proposals are technically still pending, the move would fit nicely with Pfizer's recent attempts to expand its presence in the growing biologics market.

The fact that the company has also pushed ahead with attempts to gain planning permission before the plant proposal has even been approved internally is perhaps somewhat telling, illustrating the urgency and importance the firm now lays on the role biologics could have in its future.

link to full article

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