Alexion mulls producing pipeline drugs in Ireland

Five vials of Alexion's Soliris
Soliris vials

A senior executive with Alexion ($ALXN), the maker of orphan drug Soliris, said the company is taking a hard look at locating facilities to produce its new pipeline of drugs in Ireland.

“We are planning where and how production for our pipeline of drugs will happen and Ireland is being considered,” Julie O’Neill, the company’s executive vice president of global operations, told the Irish Independent. “I don’t want to say too much as it is still early days.”

The company has earmarked three-quarters of a billion dollars in investment in the country since it set up shop in 2013, the newspaper said.

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Sites for new facilities under consideration include the Dublin area and Athlone, O’Neill said. 

Currently, Alexion has a vial-filling plant in Athlone and an operation in College Park in Blanchardstown where it is spending $507 million to build its first biologics plant outside the U.S. When that facility is completed, Alexion will employ about 500 people in Ireland. 

Alexion is best known for Soliris, which is often described as the most expensive drug in the world. The drug, which costs about $400,000 a year per patient, is used to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a rare and fatal form of blood disease.

- check out the Irish Independent story

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Image courtesy of Alexion

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