Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Advances in Ireland - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Advances in Ireland
Ireland seeks to maintain a leading position in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing as it also builds its base in research.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 32, Issue 1

"We are still hopeful that Amgen will proceed with an investment at some future date," says Barry O'Dowd, manager, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology at IDA Ireland.

Ireland's strategy for further investment

Ireland is moving forward to increase biotechnology investment, seek investment in basic research, clinical research, and process development, and also attract companies from China and India to set up operations in Ireland.

"Ireland has distinct competence in development and manufacturing," says O'Dowd, "and we are looking to broaden investment in the value chain in discovery and research." The country's recent project announcements in discovery from GlaxoSmithKline and Wyeth are illustrative at that approach.

Several collaborative research projects between academia and industry that were announced in 2007, further reflect Ireland's efforts to build its investment in research. Examples include:

  • Genzyme, Sigmoid Biotechnology (Dublin), and Warick Effect Polymers (Coventry, UK) are collaborating with the University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to develop novel drug-delivery methods for large molecules and biologics.
  • Beckman Coulter and the National University of Ireland (Galway) are establishing a permanent R&D facility in Ireland for molecular diagnostics
  • GlaxoSmithKline is collaborating with the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and National University of Ireland (Galway) to establish an integrated research program for treating Alzheimer's disease
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Pfizer, Helsinn Chemicals Ireland, Schering-Plough, Coviden (St. Louis, Mo), and GlaxoSmithKline are collaborating with several universities on research in small-molecule synthesis and crystal formation.

Ireland is also pushing for investment in biotechnology. "Not only is backward integration in the drug-development process important, but so is expansion of the country's role in biotechnology. Major biotechnology sites for manufacturing and process development now exist for companies such as Genzyme, Wyeth, Pfizer, and Centocor, and this continues to be an important area for the country," says O'Dowd.

As competition for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical investment intensifies, Ireland is taking a proactive role. "We have to be nimble and be able to respond to the changing environment for foreign direct investment," says O'Dowd. To that end, IDA Ireland opened an office in China in 2005 to attract Chinese companies seeking to set up operations in the West. IDA Ireland also opened up an office in Mumbai, India in 2008.

For more on this topic, see:

Manufacturing Investment in Puerto Rico

Singapore Attracts Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Investment


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