BioMarin’s two-year Cork expansion finally complete

28 Jul 2017

Image: NEStudios/Shutterstock

BioMarin’s Shanbally site has benefited from a makeover, with a major two-year project seeing its footprint now reach 20 acres in Cork.

Pharma giant BioMarin has officially unveiled its new-look Shanbally facility, with an expanded warehouse, new administration and utility offices, a canteen, and conference facilities added in recent months.

Taking two years to complete, the company isn’t quite finished yet, though.

The overall project will allow BioMarin to maximise the flexibility of the site with the expansion of the operational manufacturing capacity.

There are also plans for the installation of a wastewater treatment plant later this year, while three new lab expansions are to be completed by the third quarter of 2018.

BioMarin goes from strength to strength

Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, chair and CEO of BioMarin, said Ireland was “an ideal location” to expand within.

Since opening its doors in 2011, the company has grown to 365 employees in Cork, with an additional 67 people based in Dublin and 2,400 employees globally.

“The team at Shanbally has enabled us to accommodate our growing commercial portfolio and advancing clinical programmes,” said Bienaimé.

“Mostly children, our patients suffer from diseases so rare that the entire afflicted population may number as few as 1,000 worldwide. Often inherited, difficult to diagnose and progressively debilitating, these conditions have, up until now, been largely ignored.

“As we continue to grow in Shanbally, we are looking to recruit the best and brightest in a variety of disciplines to help us continue our inspiring work for patients.”

Lure of biopharma

Ireland is one of the world’s top biopharmaceutical manufacturing locations and it has seen more than €10bn of investment in the last 10 years from global biopharma giants.

There are now around 120 biopharmaceutical operations in the country, out of which 40 are approved by the FDA to produce goods for the pivotal US market.

There are 29,000 people directly employed in the biopharma FDI sector alone, and nine out of the top 10 biopharma giants in the world are manufacturing in Ireland.

“I am delighted that BioMarin continues to consolidate its commitment to its Irish operations in Shanbally,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland.

“The company’s presence in Cork strengthens Ireland’s global reputation as a biopharmaceutical industry leader and brings high-quality jobs to countless people across the south-west region.

“We look forward to working closely with the company as it further develops its operations here.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic