Pfizer Plans Manufacturing Investment in Ireland; Alkermes Secures Supply Pact

Sep 22, 2011

In separate deals, Pfizer announced an investment at its manufacturing facilities in Ireland, and the biopharmaceutical company Alkermes announced a multiyear, multimillion manufacturing supply agreement. Pfizer plans to invest EUR 145 million ($200 million) in its Grange Castle biotech-manufacturing site, according to a press release from Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Ireland on Sep. 20, 2011. The facility is one of the largest biotechnology manufacturing sites in the world and produces two Pfizer blockbusters, the arthritis and psoriasis drug Enbrel (etanercept) and the vaccine Prevanar 13 (pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine (diphtheria CRM197 protein)). The investment will enable the addition of two new processing suites and the expansion of current production and product-testing capabilities.

“With pharmaceutical and chemical products accounting for over 50% of Irish exports and a long history in pharmaceutical excellence, Ireland is a prime location for this major investment. The Grange Castle project is a strategic initiative that will allow us to further align and strengthen our manufacturing and supply network in an environment that is continually focused on quality, flexibility and application,” said Frank D’Amelio, executive vice-president and CFO of Pfizer, in the IDA press release.

Meanwhile, completion of the merger between Alkermes and Elan Drug Technologies (EDT) was announced in a press release on Sept. 16, 2011 following the approval by Alkermes shareholders on Sept. 8, 2011. The businesses were combined under the new name of Alkermes plc, which will be headquartered in Dublin. “We are very excited about the creation of Alkermes plc—a unique, global, diversified company and a leader in CNS medications,” stated Richard Pops, CEO of Alkermes plc, in the company press release. The new company, including its headquarters and operations in Athlone, County Westmeath, has more than 450 employees based in Ireland as well as more than 1200 employees worldwide.

Alkermes also announced a multiyear, multimillion dollar manufacturing agreement with an undisclosed top-ten pharmaceutical company. Under the terms of the agreement, Alkermes will manufacture the company’s finished pharmaceutical product, which will be produced at Alkermes’ Athlone, Ireland facility. Alkermes expects this agreement to generate $15 million to $20 million in annual manufacturing revenues by 2016. The Athlone facility is one of three major manufacturing plants owned by Alkermes plc at which the company produces proprietary, partnered, and contract-manufactured drug products.

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