Thermo Fisher doubles capacity to develop medicines in Cork

23 Oct 2023

Thermo Fisher Scientific in Currabinny, Co Cork. Image: Thermo Fisher Scientific

Edel Collins, general manger of the site, said the 20-litre lab will allow the US biotech company to identify and address scale-up risks prior to manufacture.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced the opening of an expanded laboratory at its Cork campus today (23 October), doubling the site’s capacity to develop new medicines.

The US-based life sciences and pharma giant said the expanded research and development centre, called Scale-up Laboratory, can be accessed by customers to create new medicines for diseases such as cancer, lupus, diabetes and psoriasis.

It marks the first expansion at the Thermo Fisher Scientific’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility in Cork since 2019.

The company said there has been a five-fold increase in clinical manufacturing capacity since then and it has gained more than 20 global pharma and biotech customers in recent years.

Officially opening the site today, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, TD, said that Thermo Fisher Scientific’s investment in this expanded lab “underscores the innovation and collaborative spirit” that drives Ireland’s R&D sector.

“This facility will undoubtedly further position Ireland as a hub for pharmaceutical and manufacturing excellence,” he said of the site that specialises in manufacturing APIs supporting early-phase clinical studies right through to commercial supply.

“As a centre of excellence for chemistry development, our investment in Cork showcases Thermo Fisher’s commitment to advancing development of critical medicines in Ireland,” said Vincent Hingot, president of the company’s Drug Substance business. “Our Cork colleagues are helping make life better for patients around the world.”

Earlier this year, the Cork pharma manufacturing site opened applications for its 2023 apprenticeship, a four-year programme that is salaried, ensuring participants earn while they learn.

Edel Collins, general manager of the Cork site, said that the 20-litre laboratory is important in the development of medicines as it “allows us to identify and address scale-up risks prior to large-scale manufacture”.

“With our existing laboratory at capacity, this new one will help address current demand while creating room for growth,” Collins added. “It will allow us to support more customers and get potentially life-saving medicines to patients faster.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic