WuXi selects Irish site for first vaccine plant

Chinese CDMO WuXi Biologics has laid plans to build a manufacturing facility in County Louth, Ireland, months after forming a vaccine joint venture.

In May, WuXi Biologics formed a joint venture with Shanghai-based Hile Bio-Technology to service a 20-year manufacturing contract with an undisclosed vaccine developer estimated to be worth more than $3 billion (€2.7 billion).

At the time, the Chinese contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) said it was scouting for a dedicated vaccine manufacturing site, and it turns out the location will be adjacent to WuXi’s biologics production site in Ireland, currently under construction. The firm announced last year that Dundalk, County Louth would play host to its first manufacturing site outside of China through that initial €325 million investment.

WuXi will construct a single-use vaccine plant in Dundalk, Ireland. Image: iStock/Derick Hudson

According to County Louth planning documents dated October 18, pre-validation permission was given to WuXi Vaccines Limited to build: “A three storey Pharmaceutical manufacturing facility sized approximately 15,520 square metres and approximately 26 metres high and with roof mounted plant and equipment and stacks.” A four storey administration and laboratory building is also planned, along with

WuXi Biologics CEO Chris Chen confirmed the plans to Bioprocess Insider, telling us:

“We are building this dedicated plant for a global company to launch a novel vaccine for the global market. Ireland is selected due to its strong talent base and easy access to global market.’

No further details have been divulged for now.

Earlier this year CEO Chris Chen told us any vaccines plant would be based on single-use bioreactor systems, in line with WuXi’s production strategy across its growing network.

Single-use has allowed WuXi to rapidly expand its biologics network. With numerous plants under construction in China, Ireland, Singapore, and the US, WuXi will soon boast 12 biomanufacturing facilities with a total of over 270,000 L of bioreactor capacity, excluding the newly announced vaccine capabilities.

Leave a Reply