The investment will expand drug substance production capabilities at facilities in Blanchardstown and Athlone run by AstraZeneca subsidiary Alexion.
Having acquired Alexion in June 2021 (six months after the $39 billion deal was announced), AstraZeneca pledged last week to expand its manufacturing footprint at its Irish facilities in College Park, Blanchardstown and Monksland Industrial Park, Athlone.
The €65 million ($69 million) will be split across three investments, a spokesperson from the firm told this publication, with equipment and warehouse facilities at each site helping to expand Alexion’s drug substance production capabilities in Ireland:
“The installation of new drug substance production equipment and warehousing facilities in College Park and Athlone will expand Alexion’s drug substance production capabilities. The construction of a Manufacturing Sciences & Technology Lab at College Park will facilitate scaling up of biologics drug substance manufacturing.”
The decision to expand the sites in Ireland is due, in part, to the dynamic life sciences sector in the country. “The positive experience of our manufacturing sites since 2013, driven by our exceptional staff and the availability of highly skilled talent and services has allowed us to continue to grow,” we were told.
“Moreover, we continue to scale and expand our capabilities to support the continued growth of Alexion’s portfolio. This investment directly supports our ambition to accelerate the development and delivery of life-changing medicines for more people affected by rare diseases worldwide.”
In a statement, Marc Dunoyer, Alexion CEO, said: “We are delighted to be further investing in our facilities in Ireland, an increasingly critical global hub for AstraZeneca operations, to support the continued growth of Alexion’s portfolio of medicines and meet our needs for expansion. This investment will allow for new capabilities for AstraZeneca in Ireland and support our global ambition to accelerate the development and delivery of life-changing medicines for more people affected by rare diseases.”
Alexion has five medicines approved for the treatment of seven rare diseases, including the monoclonal antibodies Soliris (Eculizumab) and Ultomiris (ravulizumab), which pulled in sales of $1.03 billion and $347 million in 2021, respectively.
The deal comes nine months after AstraZeneca announced plans to build small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility at the College Park campus at a cost of $360 million.