Pfizer Inc, with the support of IDA Ireland, is to invest €190 million to set up a biologics manufacturing facility at Shanbally in Co. Cork, creating 100 jobs over three years.
The investment is part of Pfizer’s goal of taking a 20 per cent stake of the global biotherapeutics market in the next eight years. The Irish facility will be a centre of excellence for process development and production of small-scale quantities of products entering into Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. It will be located on a 12-hectare site next to Pfizer’s existing facility in Ringaskiddy, and will be fully commissioned by the end of 2009.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD said, “This is a strategically important development for Pfizer as it is the first time it has placed its internal biopharmaceutical clinical production and process development activities outside of the US.”
“The decision to place such a sophisticated and technologically advanced operation here is a significant endorsement of Ireland’s wealth of talent and expertise.”
Nat Ricciardi, Pfizer Global Manufacturing, commented, “Pfizer is positioning itself to become a global leader in biologics. We have been implementing an aggressive strategy to grow our biologics portfolio seeking candidates in many therapeutic areas. Of the 14 major product deals entered by Pfizer in 2007, six were biotherapeutic transactions.
Ricciardi said the Cork facility will complements Pfizer’s Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) set up in San Francisco late 2007. The BBC is intended to operate as a federation of small biotech units which combine the best of both the pharamaceutical and biotech industries.
“Our aim is to gain access to the best science inside and outside our walls, and the new Shanbally facility will ensure that we can produce the product for clinical trials.”
Pfizer’s biotherapeutics pipeline consists of 86 projects in discovery and 26 in preclinical/clinical development, over 8 therapeutic areas.
Pfizer is already one of Ireland’s largest pharmaceutical investors having opened its Ringaskiddy plant in Cork in 1972. The company has a number of business units in the country including five manufacturing sites.