UPDATED: Pfizer planning Ireland biologics plant expansion

Pfizer

Pfizer recently started work on a new U.S. facility as it expands its biologics manufacturing capabilities. Now it is planning another significant biologics project, this one at a plant in Dublin.

Pfizer ($PFE) in an email today confirmed a report in the Irish Times that it was expected to file with local authorities plans for an expansion of its biologics plant. The newspaper said the project could result in several hundred new jobs. 

"Pfizer confirms that it intends to lodge a planning application with South Dublin County Council in relation to a potentially significant expansion of the Grange Castle site in Clondalkin," the statement said. "The planning approval is being sought to prepare for potential expansion which is contingent upon the continued successful clinical development of investigational compounds in Pfizer’s mid and late stage pipeline." 

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The newspaper calls the Republic of Ireland site one of the largest biologics manufacturing facilities in the world and says that among the products made there are its blockbusters, arthritis med Enbrel and the vaccine Prevnar. Pfizer invested about $200 million in the facility several years ago. The drugmaker said it has invested about $330 million in the Grange Castle and Ringaskiddy sites in recent years.   

This proposal comes on the heels of Pfizer's announcement last month that it would spend $200 million to build a 175,000-square-foot facility at its campus in Andover, MA, to produce complex biologics and vaccines.

That 5-story facility will have 5 independent manufacturing suites with flexible design, using single-use bioreactors and disposable process technologies. The new facility is expected to be operational by January 2019.

The Irish Times notes that the Pfizer Dublin project is the first significant investment announced in the country since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union trading bloc. That decision has led to a decline in the value of the euro relative to the dollar and raised fears that companies will rethink investments there.

- read the Irish Times story 

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