WuXi Biologics will invest €325m to build Ireland’s largest biomanufacturing facility using single-use bioreactors on the IDA’s greenfield strategic site in Dundalk.
WuXi Biologics is set to invest a staggering €325m and create 400 jobs over the next five years in Dundalk, Co Louth, as announced by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, today (30 April).
WuXi Biologics is an open-access biologics technology platform that offers end-to-end services in order to accelerate the development and manufacturing of biologics. It is headquartered in the city of Wuxi in China and is listed on the Hong Kong stock market.
The firm predicts that it will create 400 highly skilled positions over the next five years and generate 700 construction jobs while the state-of-the-art facility is being built.
Setting its sights on Mullagharlin
WuXi Biologics will leverage single-use bioreactors for commercial manufacturing in the planned facility. It will be designed to be able to run continuous bioprocessing, which the IDA has described as “a next-generation manufacturing technology to be first implemented globally in this campus”.
In total, 48,000-litre fed-batch and 6,000-litre perfusion bioreactor capacity will be installed on a 26-hectare site, “representing the world’s largest facility using single-use bioreactors”.
The IDA’s greenfield site at Mullagharlin in Dundalk, Co Louth, will be host to the ambitious manufacturing project.
WuXi Biologics is not the only one to make a splash recently by expressing an intention to create a large facility and hire swathes of people. In November 2017, UK pharmaceuticals company Wasdell announced that it will hire 300 over the next five years at a new packing and distribution facility, also to be constructed on the greenfield site.
‘This is the start of something special’
Varadkar was on hand at the announcement in Dundalk and extolled the development, positing that it is a harbinger of good things yet to come. He said: “This is the start of something special. We will see the factory of the future, right here in Dundalk. It’s the first sizeable greenfield project from China in the pharma sector and I am delighted to see it located here in Dundalk.
“It’s also the latest in a number of investments in this town, which has become a hub for a range of sectors, mainly in the new knowledge-based and pharmaceutical sectors.”
Dr Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics, added: “We are all excited to initiate our first global site to enable local companies and expedite biologics development in Europe.
“In addition, this is the start and a critical part of our global biomanufacturing network to ensure that biologics are manufactured to the highest quality and with a robust supply chain to benefit patients worldwide.”