Biotech company Horizon Therapeutics is to establish a manufacturing facility in Waterford which will employ around 90 people.
The new global biotech manufacturing operation will produce drug product for Horizon’s rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory disease portfolio.
The project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
The company is purchasing the existing drug product manufacturing facility operated at present by EirGen Pharma, an OPKO health company located on IDA Ireland’s business park in Waterford to facilitate its establishment there. Some 40 of EirGen’s employees are transferring to Horizon as part of the process and are among the c90 people to be employed at the new facility.
CEO of EirGen Pharma Damien Burke elaborated on the implications of this sale:
“This is a progressive move for EirGen Pharma, Horizon Therapeutics and Waterford. It facilitates the expansion of our global Oral Solid Dose portfolio, will allow our Sterile Fill Finish team to be successful within a Global Fill Finish operation and brings additional career opportunities for both companies within the Life Sciences industry to Waterford.”
Founded in 2008, Horizon Therapeutics is an innovation-driven biotech company focused on researching, developing, and commercialising medicines that address critical needs of people impacted by rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases. In 2014 the company established its global headquarters in Dublin and the company has grown to more than 100 people. As well as its role as global headquarters, Horizon’s Irish operations incorporate several key functions including technical operations, finance, legal and R&D.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Leo Varadkar said:
“This is very welcome news, and the employment will be of significant benefit to Waterford and the broader South East Region. It’s great to see a company with an established presence expanding its Irish operations in a regional location. It demonstrates Horizon’s commitment to Ireland and will allow the company to avail of the rich talent pool in this sector in the region.”
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said: “I am delighted Horizon has chosen to establish its first in-house manufacturing facility in Waterford. Horizon is one of the next generation of high growth biotech companies and this substantial investment is another positive development in Ireland’s growing biopharma industry. In addition to the jobs and economic benefits of this project to Waterford, the South East and Ireland, Horizon will add to the growing pharmaceutical cluster in the South East, which to date includes EirGen, MSD, Teva, and Sanofi. .”
Speaking about the project today, Horizon’s Chairman, President & CEO, Tim Walbert said: “With the successful TEPEZZA launch, ongoing KRYSTEXXA growth and the growth of our marketed medicine portfolio and pipeline it is the right time to add in-house manufacturing capabilities. Adding to our strong network of contract manufacturing organizations, this facility will also play an important role in our global expansion. We look forward to leveraging our existing technical operations expertise in Ireland, along with the expertise of the EirGen employees, to build a robust and effective manufacturing operation that will enable us to meet the unmet needs of people impacted by rare diseases around the world.”
An Tanáiste Leo Varadkar has welcomed the news:
"This is very positive news for Waterford. 40 jobs are secured at EirGen and another 50 on the way in the IDA business park.
"I think it sends out a really good message that Waterford is the business capital of the South East and a place that more firms are going to invest in.
"And I will be working with the IDA and local representatives to promote Waterford as a place to invest - an area that has very good transport links, housing is more affordable than many other parts of Ireland, and also the development of the Technological University will be a big boost too.
"It's really good news and I want to congratulate everybody involved in helping to make this investment possible."
Waterford Senator, John Cummins says it's fantastic that the 40 existing EirGen jobs are going to be kept and more people are to be recruited:
"Horizon have had their global headquarters in Dublin since 2014, but it's great to see their expansion into regional Ireland and I really think it's a fantastic vote of confidence in Waterford.
"It adds greatly to our growing bio-pharma sector here in the South East region.
"... It's the intention of the company to recruit an additional 50 roles for the site in 2021 and 2022, which is obviously fantastic news. And there's ample room for expansion of the existing plant at the site."