Horizon doubling down on Irish biomanufacturing with drug substance plant

Horizon Therapeutics will build a second facility in Waterford, Ireland to support its rare disease biologics portfolio.

In June 2021, Horizon acquired a 44,000 square-foot drug product manufacturing facility from OPKO health’s EirGen Pharma for $65 million.

This first step into building a biomanufacturing network for horizon followed the launch of Tepezza (teprotumumab), a monoclonal antibody for thyroid eye disease, and off the back of growing sales of gout treatment Krystexxa (pegloticase).

Image: DepositPhotos/gustavofrazao

Having tested the waters, the firm will now dive deeper into the manufacturing space, committing to adding approximately 320,000 square feet of production capabilities at the site through a biologics drug substance facility.

“When we purchased our existing facility in existing facility in June 2021, we did so knowing that there was adjacent Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Ireland land available for further manufacturing and development expansion,” said a Horizon spokesperson.

Beyond Tepezza and Krystexxa, the firm has a pipeline of several mAb programs targeting IgG4-related disease, dermatomyositis, and autoimmune diseases, as well as a short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting gout.

“Both facilities are expected to be used for Horizon’s on market rare disease biologics as well as development-stage medicines.”

The amount of investment in this second facility has not been divulged, but the spokesperson told us the firm anticipates “providing additional details with respect to potential investment as the planning application process proceeds.”

As for further investment in the region, Horizon has called Ireland its home since 2014 and claims to be one of the fastest growing companies in the country.

“Our technical operations team is based there, and we have access to world-class manufacturing talent.”

Approximately 350 jobs are set to be created over time.