Computer processor to bioprocessor: Regeneron's Irish plant plans revealed

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Regeneron bought a facility from Dell in Limerick, Ireland, last year
Regeneron bought a facility from Dell in Limerick, Ireland, last year
Regeneron has received approval to convert a 400,000 sq ft former computer plant in Ireland into a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

The biopharma firm bought the site in Limerick, Ireland from computer manufacturer Dell in July last year in order to provide additional capacity for commercial demand of its biologics portfolio, and last week the plant’s conversion moved one stage closer achieving planning permission from Limerick County Council.

Spokesman Peter Dworkin told in July​ it intended to “refurnish the facility for biologics production, QA/QC, and related functions to make our monoclonal antibodies,”​ but when contacted for further details this week, he said the firm would not divulge any further details.

However, specific conversion plans approved in Council documents​ reveal the firm intends to alter the plant’s “existing single storey production area to accommodate the installation of a new biopharmaceutical manufacturing process.”

Furthermore, the plans will see Regeneron add an additional 255,000 sq ft of floor space with a first floor plant room over the existing production area, a single-storey warehouse extension and an extension to the plant’s utilities space.

The option to build a 47,000 sq ft three-storey laboratory “which will be linked to the existing building at ground and first floor levels” ​has also been approved, the document said.

For the full year 2013, Regeneron reported capital expenditure of $156m (€114m), which was up significantly from the previous year due to both the Limerick facility acquisition and expansion of its facilities in Rensselaer, New York​ to which it is adding two new 10,000L bioreactors, and expansion of leased facilities in Tarrytown, New York.

In a conference call discussing end of year results earlier this week (transcript here​), CFO Robert Landry expected expenditure for 2014 to be between $350 and $425m, though did not break down how much would be used for the Limerick conversion.

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