IDA Ireland welcomes the announcement by biotech company Horizon Therapeutics plc that it is to establish a manufacturing facility in Waterford which will employ 90 people.
The new global biotech manufacturing operation will produce drug product for Horizon’s rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory disease portfolio.
EirGen Pharma has agreed to sell its Sterile Fill Finish capability to Horizon Therapeutics plc. Within the sale is included the Sterile Fill Finish technology and the EirGen Pharma Building at Butlerstown, Waterford. Around 40 employees supporting the Fill Finish capability will transfer to Horizon Therapeutics as part of the operational change. Horizon expects to recruit a further 50 employees over the next 18 months.
The project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Leo Varadkar said: “This is very welcome news, and the employment will be of significant benefit to Waterford and the broader South East Region. It’s great to see a company with an established presence expanding its Irish operations in a regional location. It demonstrates Horizon’s commitment to Ireland and will allow the company to avail of the rich talent pool in this sector in the region.”
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said: “I am delighted Horizon has chosen to establish its first in-house manufacturing facility in Waterford. Horizon is one of the next generation of high growth biotech companies and this substantial investment is another positive development in Ireland’s growing biopharma industry. In addition to the jobs and economic benefits of this project to Waterford, the South East and Ireland, Horizon will add to the growing pharmaceutical cluster in the South East, which to date includes EirGen, MSD, Teva, and Sanofi. I wish Horizon every success with this new manufacturing facility in Waterford and wish EirGen Pharma continued success with its Irish operations in Waterford where they are a substantial and valued employer.”
Senator John Cummins is also delighted to welcome Horizon to Waterford. “Horizon have had their global headquarters in Dublin since 2014 and it is great to see their expansion into regional Ireland. It is my understanding that approximately 40 existing Eirgen (Opko) employees at the IDA Business Park will transfer to Horizon following the close of the transaction and that it is the intention of Horizon to recruit an additional 50 staff for the site in 2021 and 2022.
“This is a fantastic vote of confidence in Waterford and adds greatly to our growing biopharma sector here in the South East. There is ample room for expansion of the existing plant and I wish Horizon every success with their ambitious growth plans in the time ahead.”
Speaking about the project today, Horizon’s Chairman, President & CEO, Tim Walbert said: “With the successful TEPEZZA launch, ongoing KRYSTEXXA growth and the growth of our marketed medicine portfolio and pipeline it is the right time to add in-house manufacturing capabilities. Adding to our strong network of contract manufacturing organisations, this facility will also play an important role in our global expansion. We look forward to leveraging our existing technical operations expertise in Ireland, along with the expertise of the EirGen employees, to build a robust and effective manufacturing operation that will enable us to meet the unmet needs of people impacted by rare diseases around the world.”
CEO of EirGen Pharma Damien Burke elaborated on the implications of this sale: “This is a progressive move for EirGen Pharma, Horizon Therapeutics and Waterford. It facilitates the expansion of our global Oral Solid Dose portfolio, will allow our Sterile Fill Finish team to be successful within a Global Fill Finish operation and brings additional career opportunities for both companies within the Life Sciences industry to Waterford.”
EirGen Pharma, with its parent company OPKO Health is fully invested in supporting the growth and development of its core EirGen business in Waterford, consisting of Oral Solid Dose technology for R&D and Commercial supply to global markets from EirGen’s facility at Westside Business Park in Waterford City. EirGen has and will continue to receive government support through IDA Ireland in the development of its unique R&D capability.
The EirGen Leadership team is fully committed to engaging with the extended Sterile Fill Finish team to ensure a supportive transition over the coming weeks. The EirGen Leadership team is also committed to supporting Horizon Therapeutics throughout the transition period and extends a warm welcome to them to the region.
Founded in 2008, Horizon Therapeutics is an innovation-driven biotech company focused on researching, developing, and commercialising medicines that address critical needs of people impacted by rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases.