Ab­bott pumps $450M+ in­to new Ire­land-based man­u­fac­tur­ing site project and hir­ing spree

As Ire­land con­tin­ues to see more in­vest­ments and build­ing projects from phar­ma com­pa­nies, an­oth­er con­tender is look­ing to place more in­vest­ment in the Emer­ald Isle.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from The Irish Times on Fri­day, Ab­bott Lab­o­ra­to­ries is in­vest­ing €440 mil­lion, or about $451 mil­lion, to build a new man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in Kilken­ny, lo­cat­ed in the coun­try’s south­east, to make more of its glu­cose mon­i­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to an Ab­bott spokesper­son in an email to End­points News, the com­pa­ny an­tic­i­pates that more than 800 peo­ple will be em­ployed at the Kilken­ny fa­cil­i­ty once it opens, and the re­main­der will be em­ployed at its site in Done­gal.

“Done­gal is a key man­u­fac­tur­ing site for Ab­bott’s di­a­betes care busi­ness, and we have in­vest­ed heav­i­ly in ex­pand­ing our op­er­a­tions there over the last four years. We’re in­creas­ing our cap­i­tal in­vest­ment in Done­gal in­clud­ing fa­cil­i­ties, pro­duc­tion equip­ment and adding peo­ple to en­able Done­gal to bet­ter sup­port our prod­ucts glob­al­ly,” the Ab­bott spokesper­son said.

For the new 250,000 square-foot build­ing in Kilken­ny, the com­pa­ny will start re­cruit­ment im­me­di­ate­ly for po­si­tions in en­gi­neer­ing, qual­i­ty con­trol and med­ical de­vice man­u­fac­tur­ing, among oth­ers. The site, which the com­pa­ny hopes to have on­line by 2024, will be re­spon­si­ble for the man­u­fac­ture of its Freestyle Li­bre 3 sys­tem for con­tin­u­ous glu­cose mon­i­tor­ing. And the com­pa­ny is bull­ish that it can find the tal­ent.

“The new lo­ca­tion of Kilken­ny is at­trac­tive to our fu­ture em­ploy­ees as the re­gion has strong ed­u­ca­tion­al links with the South-East Tech­no­log­i­cal Uni­ver­si­ty, en­abling us to at­tract grad­u­ates from its Wa­ter­ford and Car­low cam­pus­es,” the spokesper­son said.

Ab­bot has had a heavy pres­ence in Ire­land for over 75 years and cur­rent­ly em­ploys more than 5,000 peo­ple across nine sites. How­ev­er, Ab­bott’s fur­ther com­mit­ment comes at a time when sev­er­al oth­er ma­jor phar­mas are look­ing to snap up Irish soil for man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Mer­ck KGaA, Alex­ion, Eli Lil­ly and SK have all an­nounced ei­ther new ma­jor mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar sites or ex­pan­sion projects across the coun­try this year, and the news from Ab­bott shows that the speed of man­u­fac­tur­ing de­vel­op­ment isn’t slow­ing down.

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Fireside chat between Hal Barron and John Carroll, UKBIO19

It’s time we talked about bio­phar­ma — live in Lon­don next week

Zoom can only go so far. And I think at this stage, we’ve all tested the limits of staying in touch — virtually. So I’m particularly happy now that we’ve revved up the travel machine to point myself to London for the first time in several years.

Whatever events we have lined up, we’ve always built in plenty of opportunities for all of us to get together and talk. For London, live, I plan to be right out front, meeting with and chatting with the small crowd of biopharma people we are hosting on October 12 at Silicon Valley Bank’s London headquarters. And there’s a lengthy mixer at the end I’m most looking forward to, with several networking openings between sessions.

Casey McPherson shows his daughters Rose (left) and Weston around Everlum Bio, a lab that he co-founded to spark a treatment for Rose and others with ultra-rare conditions. (Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Fa­ther starts lab af­ter in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty is­sues stymie rare dis­ease drug de­vel­op­ment

Under bright lab lights, Casey McPherson holds his 6-year-old daughter, Rose. His free hand directs Rose’s gaze toward a computer screen with potential clues in treating her one-of-a kind genetic condition.

Gray specks on the screen show her cells that scientists reprogrammed with the goal of zeroing in on a custom medicine. McPherson co-founded the lab, Everlum Bio, to spark a treatment for Rose — and others like her. A regarded singer-songwriter, McPherson never imagined going into drug development.

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The Nobel Committee for Chemistry announces the winners: Carolyn Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)

Car­olyn Bertozzi, re­peat biotech founder and launch­er of a field, shares in chem­istry No­bel win

Carolyn Bertozzi, predicted by some to become a Nobel laureate, clinched one of the world’s top awards in the wee hours of Wednesday, winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside a repeat winner and a Copenhagen researcher.

The Stanford professor, Morten Meldal of University of Copenhagen and 2001-awardee K. Barry Sharpless of Scripps shared the prize equally. The Nobel is sometimes split in quarters and/or halves.

GSK touts topline win for PD-1 in head-to-head with Keytru­da — while steer­ing next big check­point drug in­to PhI­II

GSK is claiming a win for what it calls the largest head-to-head trial pitting a PD-1 against Merck’s best-selling Keytruda in a type of lung cancer, as its Jemperli met the primary endpoint of objective response rate.

In a separate positive move, GSK says it’s moving both arms of the COSTAR Lung trial into Phase III to test Jemperli as well as the TIM-3 inhibitor cobolimab.

Hesham Abdullah, GSK’s global head of oncology development, said in a statement that the two trials “support the ambition for dostarlimab to become the backbone of our ongoing immuno-oncology-based research and development programme when used alone and in combination with standard of care and future novel cancer therapies, particularly in patients with currently limited treatment options.”

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Take­da to pull key hy­poparathy­roidism drug from the mar­ket af­ter years of man­u­fac­tur­ing woes

Takeda on Tuesday morning made an announcement that almost 3,000 people with the rare disease known as hypoparathyroidism were fearing.

Due to unresolved supply issues and manufacturing woes, Takeda said it will cut its losses and discontinue its hypoparathyroidism drug, known as Natpara (parathyroid hormone), halting all manufacturing of the drug by the end of 2024, but the entire inventory will be available until depleted or expired, a company spokesperson said via email.

Robert Arch, OncoSec Medical CEO

Pen­ny stock, Mer­ck part­ner lays off 45% of staff to reach PhII read­out by ear­ly 2023

Another biotech is feeling the chill of the bear market, laying off staff in an effort to preserve cash.

Cancer immunotherapy startup OncoSec Medical announced Tuesday evening it would lay off about 45% of its workforce, or 18 employees, it estimated in an SEC filing. OncoSec made the move to better position the company to complete a Phase II trial for its sole program in melanoma, CEO Robert Arch said in a statement.

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Justin Klee (L) and Josh Cohen (Amylyx)

Amy­lyx snatched the land­mark ap­proval for its ALS drug. Now it’s seek­ing cash to foot the launch bill

As Amylyx gets ready to debut its ALS drug in the US — amid scrutiny and criticism of the price it’s set — the biotech is going back to the public market for some cash to fund the commercial work.

The offering of six million shares is expected to fetch Amylyx anywhere from $167 million to $192.2 million, depending on the final price and whether underwriters exercise their option to buy more shares.

Vlad Coric, Biohaven CEO

Vlad Coric charts course for new Bio­haven with neu­ro­science push and Big Phar­ma vets on board

What’s Biohaven without its CGRP portfolio? That’s what CEO Vlad Coric is tasked with deciding as he maps out the new Biohaven post-Pfizer takeover.

Pfizer officially scooped up Biohaven’s CGRP assets on Monday, including blockbuster migraine drug Nurtec and the investigational zavegepant, for $11.6 billion. As a result, Coric spun the broader pipeline into an independent company on Tuesday — with the same R&D team behind Nurtec but about 1,000 fewer staffers and a renewed focus on neuroscience and rare disease.