Alexion buys vial-filling facility in Ireland

Leonard Bell--Courtesy of Alexion
Leonard Bell--Courtesy of Alexion

Alexion ($ALXN), maker of orphan drug Soliris, last year said it was opening a center in Dublin, Ireland, to expand its supply chain operations in Europe. Now the drugmaker is buying a vial-filling facility there, a move that is providing a boost to a manufacturing expansion project by another drugmaker.

Alexion CEO Leonard Bell disclosed its deal to buy the facility during the company's earnings call last week, but didn't say from whom, for how much or where it was. According to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha, Bell said only that it "will become Alexion's first company-owned vialing facility for Soliris and our other clinical and commercial products." reports the seller is Irish drugmaker Alkermes ($ALKS), which is selling Alexion two buildings it picked up in 2011 when it bought Elan's ($ELN) drug delivery and manufacturing unit. The buildings at a complex in Athlone have sat unused for a number of years. Alexion will reportedly have 40 people at the facility, adding to the 50 people it is stationing in Dublin to do quality assurance, quality control and logistics for its supply chain expansion.

A spokesperson for Dublin-based Alkermes told that the sale will boost its own planned expansion project at the complex. Alkermes will spend €20 million over three years to build up its R&D and manufacturing facility in Athlone, where it currently has about 400 employees. The modernization will allow it to produce new, more advanced product lines, he said.

- read the story
- here's the Seeking Alpha transcript