Mark Barrett stands in a suit in an APC pharma lab.
Dr Mark Barrett, CEO of APC. Image: Naoise Culhane Photography

Irish pharma company APC to create 120 jobs in vaccine hub

10 Jun 2021

Dublin-based APC is getting into the Covid-19 vaccine space and will be hiring for roles chemistry, engineering, analytical sciences and supply chain.

Irish pharmaceutical research and development company APC is investing €25m in a new focus on vaccines that will create 120 jobs.

The company said that expansion at its headquarters in Dublin will enable the rapid research and manufacture of vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, as well as other advanced therapeutics for rare diseases.

An additional 12,000 sq ft of lab space and research infrastructure is being constructed at APC’s Cherrywood base. This expansion, which involves an €8m investment, is expected to be fully operational by the end of June.

The company will add 50 new highly skilled jobs to the existing team of 140 people, with roles in chemistry, biology, chemical engineering and analytical sciences coming on stream immediately, along with other pharmaceutical positions.

This expansion will support the research into Covid-19 vaccines and other advanced therapeutics.

‘This €25m investment is a culmination of our ambition for an Irish company to stand tall and contribute to the development and manufacture of Covid vaccines’

Elsewhere, APC is also investing €17m in the creation of VLE Therapeutics, which will focus on the manufacture of vaccines and advanced therapeutics including cell and gene therapies.

The company plans to have a new manufacturing facility in place for this by the end of 2021, with an annual full-scale capacity of up to 50m vaccine doses.

Up to 70 new jobs are planned as part of this investment, with roles across manufacturing operations, supply chain, engineering, and quality assurance and control.

Further down the line, there are plans to have an 80,000 sq ft manufacturing facility by the end of 2023 that will manufacture a wide range of vaccines and advanced therapeutics, with a dose capacity in the hundreds of millions.

APC was established in 2011 by CEO Dr Mark Barrett and CTO Prof Brian Glennon, and has been growing its pharma R&D business in south Dublin in recent years.

In 2020, the company announced plans to partner with Australian biotech company Vaxine to help develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. It also spun out VLE Therapeutics to focus on manufacturing.

In addition to Covid-19 vaccine research and manufacturing, APC is also working on medicines for a variety of cancers, respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV.

“In development since July 2020, this €25m investment is a culmination of our ambition for an Irish company to stand tall and contribute, on both the national and global stage, to the development and manufacture of Covid vaccines and other critical advanced therapeutics,” Barrett said.

“Ireland is a global powerhouse for pharma manufacturing and we believe our technological advancements can work hand-in-hand with this track record to accelerate the development and manufacture of these critical vaccines and advanced therapeutics for people in Ireland, Europe and around the world.”

Enterprise Ireland is supporting the investment in the new APC research facility and the new VLE Therapeutics business. The agency’s CEO, Leo Clancy, said APC has a track record of “delivery game-changing disruptive technology” to global pharma companies.

“Today’s announcement is hugely significant to deliver the next frontier of biopharma manufacturing, and further strengthens Ireland’s position in the global value chain of vaccine development and manufacturing,” he added.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD, said the new facilities would “revolutionise how medicines are developed and delivered to patients”.

“The fact that this is all happening in Ireland is testament to the wealth of talent and vision we have here in this country in the biotech and pharmaceutical space. It is remarkable to think that, thanks to APC and VLE, Ireland will shortly have the capacity to manufacture hundreds of millions of vaccine doses a year.”

More information about jobs at APC can be found on its website.

The news comes after Pfizer announced last month that its Covid-19 vaccine will be manufactured in Ireland, creating 75 new jobs in Dublin.

Sarah Harford
By Sarah Harford

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic for three and a half years.

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