BioMarin invests in Cork manufacturing site, opening €38m expansion

21 Apr 2023

Geraldine Cregan, Conor Delaney, BioMarin; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD. Image: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM Photo

BioMarin has invested the money over a four-year period in its Irish operations. Its Cork manufacturing plant is now its largest outside of the US.

Biopharma multinational BioMarin has today (21 April) officially opened its expansion of its Shanbally, Co Cork manufacturing plant.

The company has had a presence in Cork for more than a decade. Its latest expansion in the area is an aseptic production facility from which it will manufacture, package and label its therapies for global distribution.

With this expansion, BioMarin will be able to increase its manufacturing capacity significantly. It will begin end-to-end manufacturing for a number of its commercial products, as well as produce additional clinical and commercial products, including gene therapies.

Investments at the site have seen production levels increase by as much as 150pc for some of the company’s products.

BioMarin currently has eight marketed treatments, including its first gene therapy which it launched last year.

Greg Guyer, CTO and executive VP of Technical Operations at BioMarin said the Cork expansion positioned the company “as a leading manufacturing operation in Ireland”.

Speaking at today’s official opening event, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD described the occasion as “a significant advancement for biopharma in Ireland”.

“BioMarin operates in a unique space serving those living with rare disease and I wish the company well as they continue to invest in operations in Ireland to meet the needs of the rare disease community,” he added.

BioMarin’s investment in Ireland is supported by the Government through IDA Ireland. That organisation’s CEO Michael Lohan pointed out that the Shanbally facility is the company’s only manufacturing facility outside of the US.

The company now employs more than 500 people across two locations in Ireland. These are the Shanbally manufacturing site and the Earlsfort Terrace site in Dublin, which has served as BioMarin’s headquarters for Canada and Europe since 2019.

BioMarin is actively planning to expand its team to cope with its increased manufacturing capabilities. It plans to recruit more than 40 roles across its operations at the Cork site over the coming years.

“BioMarin’s culture revolves around a sense of community, collaboration and a commitment to high performance,” said Conor Delaney, site lead and VP of Shanbally Manufacturing Operations of BioMarin. “Our people are driven to discover and develop medicines that give patients, their families and caregivers hope where there was little or none.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.