Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation Heather Humphreys TD today confirmed that WuXi Vaccines, a subsidiary of WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), is planning to build a $240 million vaccine production facility on the newly established WuXi Biologics Campus in Dundalk, bringing 200 additional new jobs to the town over five years. The new investment, for which a planning application was submitted to Louth County Council last month is being supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland will bring total employment on WuXi Biologics’ Dundalk Campus to 600 by 2024.
Speaking at this morning’s announcement in Dundalk, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce 200 highly-skilled jobs in WuXi Vaccines, which is in addition to the 400 roles announced last year by WuXi Biologics for Dundalk. Without a doubt, this is a great win for the North-East and a huge vote of confidence in the local workforce. The Government is fully committed to regional development and ensuring that every region benefits from employment gains. Today’s announcement demonstrates, once again, that the Border region is a very attractive location in which to invest.”
WuXi Vaccines is a joint venture between WuXi Biologics and Hile Bio-pharmaceutical. The company has entered into the strategic partnership with a global vaccine leader under which WuXi Vaccines will build a dedicated facility to supply a commercial product for the global market.
“Vaccine CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) service is one of the next growth areas for WuXi Biologics”, said Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics and Chairman 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 WuXi Biologics 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.”
The construction of the WuXi Biologics contract manufacturing facility on the campus, which is scheduled for commercial production in 2022, is underway and it is currently hiring for senior roles. It has been designed to be the world’s largest biologics contract manufacturing facility using single-use and flexible scale-out production technology. The facility will have the capability to run multiple batches simultaneously, in small or large volumes as required to deliver biologics at lower Cost of Goods (COGS) than traditional systems.
The facility will have the capacity to manufacture highly specialised biologics in small or large volumes in compliance with US FDA and EU EMA regulations for global pharma companies bringing exciting new job opportunities to the region. The new WuXi Vaccines facility, subject to planning approval, will be located within the WuXi Biologics Campus adjacent to the WuXi Biologics ‘Factory of the Future’ facility and will manufacture vaccine substance and product for a global partner.
Commenting on the development of the WuXi Biologics Campus in Dundalk, Brendan McGrath, WuXi Biologics Ireland Site Head and Vice President said: “Dundalk’s potential to become a global hub for biologics contract manufacturing has moved one step closer to reality. As a leading global open-access biologics technology platform, WuXi Biologics’ global reach and operations currently counts most of the world’s leading biopharma companies as customers.
Reflecting our commitment to breakthrough scientific innovation by ‘Follow-the-Molecule’ and supporting the production of innovative biologics at effective Cost of Goods (COGS), WuXi Biologics is actively pioneering technologies for continuous production processes, laying solid foundations for exciting biopharma innovation in Dundalk.”
Eileen Sharpe, Divisional Manager Growth Markets, Europe and Emerging Business at IDA Ireland welcomed the announcement, saying:
“A second major investment by WuXi Biologics on its Dundalk site is very welcome news. As the first vaccines contract manufacturing facility in Ireland, this planned second project will considerably strengthen our life sciences ecosystem and reinforce Ireland’s strong drug manufacturing capabilities. The additional 200 jobs being created by the WuXi Vaccines project will provide a substantial further boost to the economy of not just County Louth, but the whole North East region.”
About WuXi Biologics
WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company, is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to empower organizations to discover, develop and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. Our company history and achievements demonstrate our commitment to providing a truly ONE-stop service offering and strong value proposition to our global clients. As of June 30, 2019, there were a total of 224 integrated projects, including 106 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 102 projects in early-phase (phase I and II) clinical development, 15 projects in late-phase (phase III) development and 1 project in commercial manufacturing. With total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production planned in China, Ireland, Singapore and US exceeding 280,000 liters by 2022, we will provide our biomanufacturing partners with a robust and premier-quality global supply chain network. For more information on WuXi Biologics, please visit www.wuxibiologics.com.
About WuXi Vaccines
WuXi Vaccines, a joint venture of WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK) and Hile Bio-pharmaceutical, primarily engaged in human vaccine (e.g. cancer vaccine) Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) business and provision of end-to-end integrated service and solution platform covering the discovery, development and manufacturing of vaccine from concept to commercial manufacturing.
Related Local Information Note on WuXi Biologics Ireland:
WuXi Biologics announced a €325m x 400 jobs contract manufacturing project for Dundalk in April 2018 and the construction of this facility is now well underway for commercial manufacturing in 2022. As of November 2019, some 500+ people are currently working on the construction project with peak fit out and commissioning employment at 2,000 anticipated by autumn 2020.
Commenting on the progress of the WuXi Biologics facility in terms of local interest, Brendan McGrath, WuXi Biologics Ireland Site Head and Vice President added “A green-field biologics campus presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for great talent to join us to develop a full-scale integrated capability to enable global partners to develop and manufacture some of the world’s most innovative biologics. Looking to WuXi Biologics’ ambition for its Dundalk campus, we are inviting experienced local and international talent to consider if the WuXi Biologics operations in Dundalk, or indeed in China where WuXi Biologics employs over 2,500 scientists, might provide the exciting career opportunities and challenges they may seek at the leading-edge of biologics discovery, development and manufacturing. The Dundalk facility is WuXi Biologics’ first European manufacturing investment and represents a major vote of confidence in Ireland as an international centre of excellence and as a global hub for the fast-growing biotechnology industry.