First US biopharma mission arrives in Ireland


10 Nov 2004

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The first US biopharma mission to Ireland, organised by Enterprise Ireland (EI), is in Dublin this week with the aim of forging stronger business relationships between Ireland and the US with new collaborative partnerships between the two countries.

Later this morning, 13 of the US’s best-of-breed biopharma players will meet with 21 Irish biotechnology companies in a half-day ‘matchmaking’ session designed by EI to further commercial and research relations. Staged at a Dublin city centre hotel, the event will facilitate more than 140 individual meetings between potential business and research partners over a four-hour period.

Mission participants include senior-level executives from major US corporations, such as Pfizer, Amgen, Bristol Myers Squibb and Biogen, as well as the National Institutes of Health, Cornell University and Rice University.

Welcoming the mission to Ireland, Michael Ahern TD, Minister for Trade and Commerce, said he hoped the mission could play a critical role in shaping the indigenous industry in Ireland through partnerships and advisory work. “Many in the US are already influencing and supporting the growth of the Irish industry through the Bio-Link USA-Ireland Association that EI established. I will again take the opportunity to increase those links when I meet with the Bio-Link group as part of a trade visit I will be leading to New York next week.”

Event organiser Marina Donohoe, director of Americas for EI, said that Ireland is recognised as one of the top 25 global locations for biotechnology. “Some 41 companies in Ireland, both multinationals and Irish-owned enterprises, are engaged in activities that were primarily based on biotechnological research or processes. We expect that the mission should result in stronger business relationships between Ireland and the US with new collaborative biopharma partnerships between both countries.”

Donohue added: ” This inward mission is part of a comprehensive strategy to support the indigenous biotech sector through initiatives in Ireland and overseas. The overseas strategy is focused on identifying key sales, partnering and research opportunities for our clients. The US is a key market for the Irish biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry given its market size and its position as a leader worldwide in the industry.

“This mission is an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of Ireland as a source of innovative solutions for the life sciences industry, illustrated by the wide-ranging capability of the companies attending.”

By Brian Skelly