AbbVie announced yesterday plans to expand its Ballytivnan site – located about 150km northwest of Dublin – adding sterile manufacturing technology to expand its oncology drug pipeline.
An AbbVie spokesperson did not divulge which candidates the expansion would support, but the firm’s oncology pipeline includes 22 candidates in the clinic including six in Phase III.
We were told the investment will create around 100 technical and manufacturing jobs over the next three years.
The $139m (€113m) investment is the latest at the site, previously described to our sister publication in-Pharmatechnologist as producing more than 50 percent of AbbVie’s total Phase III pipeline products across a variety of therapeutic areas.
In 2014, the firm added 175 jobs through a €85m investment at the site for the production of its all-oral, interferon-free treatment for chronic hepatitis C, Mavyret (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir), approved in the US in August last year.
The pharma sector in Ireland has followed the industry’s shift to large molecule drugs in recent years, with a number of large pharma firms closing or upgrading traditional small molecule manufacturing facilities while simultaneously investing in newer technologies to support the manufacture of their biopharmaceutical pipeline.
And this latest investment was deemed “great news” by Martin Shanahan, CEO of Irish business development organisation IDA Ireland.
“The pharma sector is one of our fastest growing sectors and makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports,” he said. “[AbbVie’s investment] builds on their more than 70-year commitment to Ireland and is a tremendous vote of confidence in the capability of the workforce in Sligo and the wider North West Region.”