WuXi Biologics has announced a further investment in Dundalk as it reveals plans to build a €216m vaccines facility, creating 200 jobs.
WuXi Biologics will create 200 jobs in Louth with the construction of a new vaccine production facility under its subsidiary, WuXi Vaccines.
The $240m (€216m) facility will be based at the newly established WuXi Biologics campus in Dundalk, Co Louth, bringing 200 additional jobs to the town over the next five years.
Last year, the Chinese life sciences giant revealed plans to invest €325m to build a biomanufacturing facility on the IDA’s greenfield site in Dundalk, and with it announced 400 jobs. Construction began on the 52-acre plant this May and, at 48,000 sq ft in size, it aims to be the world’s largest single-use biologics manufacturing facility. This facility is scheduled for commercial production in 2022.
The initial plan for the Dundalk campus was approved in January 2019. Last month, the firm submitted a planning application for the vaccine facility to Louth Country Council with the support of the Irish Government through IDA Ireland. With this addition, subject to planning approval, the firm’s total Irish headcount will increase to 600.
WuXi Vaccines is a joint venture between WuXi and Hile Biopharmaceuticals, a Shanghai-based producer of animal vaccines.
“Vaccine contract development and manufacturing organisation service is one of the next growth areas for WuXi Biologics”, said Dr Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics and chair of WuXi Vaccines. “We believe our ‘co-located’ WuXi Biologics and WuXi Vaccines businesses will work well together and contribute substantially to the further future growth of the campus in Dundalk.
“Due to process complexity, extensive analytic testing and rigorous regulatory standards, vaccines are difficult to manufacture, and process and quality control are extremely critical for the quality of the product.
“This new project to exclusively manufacture a vaccine for the global market is among the first of its kind in the industry and is a further testimony to the technical strengths and premier quality which WuXi Biologics will bring to Dundalk.”
Brendan McGrath, WuXi Biologics Ireland site head, added: “Dundalk’s potential to become a global hub for biologics contract manufacturing has moved one step closer to reality.
“WuXi Biologics is actively pioneering technologies for continuous production processes, laying solid foundations for exciting biopharma innovation in Dundalk.”