Alexion puts €65M forward to strengthen its position on the Emerald Isle
Ireland has been on a roll in 2022, with several large pharma companies announcing multimillion-euro projects. Now AstraZeneca’s rare disease outfit Alexion is looking to get in on the action.
Alexion on Friday announced a €65 million ($68.8 million) investment in new and enhanced capabilities across two sites in the country, including at College Park in the Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown and the Monksland Industrial Park in the central Irish town of Athlone, according to the Industrial Development Agency of Ireland.
The project can be broken down into three investments including the installation of new drug substance production equipment and warehousing facilities to support ambient and cold storage at College Park and Athlone, and the construction of a manufacturing sciences and technology lab at College Park.
“The equipment and warehouse facility in each site will expand Alexion’s drug substance production capabilities in Ireland,” IDA Ireland stated.
The scale-up of biologics manufacturing capability and R&D expansion at these two sites will occur over the next 18 months, according to a statement Alexion emailed to Endpoints News. Approximately 1,000 people work across both sites and the expansion will add a small number of jobs, though no solid numbers were given.
For the Alexion Manufacturing Sciences & Technology Lab at College Park, the investment will seek to facilitate the scaling up of biologics drug substance manufacturing in Ireland, although details on the construction were not immediately available to Endpoints.
“This investment will allow for new capabilities for AstraZeneca in Ireland and support our global ambition to accelerate the development and delivery of life-changing medicines for more people affected by rare diseases,” Alexion CEO Marc Dunoyer said in a statement.
College Park has been a hot spot for both Alexion and AstraZeneca. In 2021, the Big Pharma shelled out $360 million to build an API plant for small molecules at its Alexion campus in College Park, Dublin, focusing on late-stage development and early commercial supply for small molecule therapies.
As Alexion commits to Ireland, the company finds itself among an ever-growing crowd of manufacturers. In February, Eli Lilly announced it would pump almost $1.5 billion into two new manufacturing facilities. Merck KGaA announced in May it was making a €440 million ($470 million) investment to increase membrane manufacturing capacity in Carrigtwohill, Ireland, and build a new manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park, in County Cork, Ireland.
Most recently, New Jersey-based CDMO Cambrex acquired Q1 Scientific, a provider of environmentally controlled cGMP stability storage services, located in the city of Waterford, Ireland.