Astellas to invest $350m+ to construct Ireland facility

Astellas Pharma says a drug product manufacturing facility in Tralee, Ireland will strengthen its internal supply chain.

According to the firm, the investment worth over €330 million ($351 million) will bolster capacity and capabilities for aseptic drug products. Additionally, the facility will support stable manufacturing for global supply and advance the development and commercialization of antibody drugs and various other products.

“It will enhance our in-house production capability and strengthen the manufacturing and supply chain from development to commercialization. This will ensure a stable supply of high quality Astellas medicines to patients around the world,” a spokesperson for Astellas told BioProcess Insider.

Concept image of the facility subject to planning approval. Image C/O Astellas

The proposed facility will be located at the Industrial Development Authority’s (IDA) greenfield site in Kerry Technology Park, Tralee – about 300km southwest of Dublin – and the spokesperson said the area fits its “current and future needs.”

Astellas said the plant will be built with the firm’s sustainability targets and values in mind, aiming to reduce water use by around half, minimize operational energy intensity by over one-third, and create zero waste to landfill.

Why Ireland?

The company already has a presence in Ireland. Astellas has over 400 employees based at its small molecule facility in Killorglin, Co Kerry and more than 100 people working at its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing plant in Mulhuddart, Dublin.

“Astellas looked at various options for the site of the new plant from multiple perspectives, and Ireland was finally chosen,” the spokesperson said.

The decision to construct this facility in Ireland is driven by various advantages such as “competitive corporate tax rates, English speaking, access to the EU (European Union) market, a highly educated workforce with one of the highest enrolment percentages in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in Europe.”

The plant is expected to be operational in 2028 and will create over 100 roles with the possibility for continued growth. As Tralee is a university town, the location of the plant is a “natural base for a facility of this kind, giving a strong pipeline of future talent,” said the spokesperson.

Furthermore, the spokesperson told us Ireland has the youngest growing population in Europe and “the Irish government encourages Foreign Direct Investment through supportive policies and legislation.”

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