Watson-Marlow expanding its footprint in Ireland with new cleanroom facility

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© Gettyimages/Ca-ssis
© Gettyimages/Ca-ssis

Related tags Biologics Cleanroom facilities Ireland Single-use systems

Watson-Marlow Limited Ireland has announced plans for a new state-of-the-art cleanroom facility in Cork to support Ireland’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

The new Class 7 cleanroom will be added to the fluid management technology company’s existing Cork site and will be certified to meet the demands of the highly regulated biopharmaceutical sector in Ireland.

The cleanroom, which is currently in development will be ISO accredited in the first quarter of 2021; the facility will provide local access to essential bioprocess single-use assemblies, which are designed for the end-to-end manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and personalized medicines, such as gene therapies.

The technology provider said the new facility will also create new employment opportunities in Cork.

Denis Coll, biopharma sector manager, Watson-Marlow, Ireland, said the expansion projects reflects the wealth of talent and opportunity available and the importance of Ireland in the growth of the global biopharmaceutical industry.

More than 85 biotech and pharma companies are based in that market. The new facility will provide global expertise within Ireland, offering a high quality and reliable supply allied with customer service and local support.

“Our puresu single-use assemblies harness Watson-Marlow’s extensive experience in biopharmaceutical processing and the new facility will provide biotech and pharma manufacturing organizations in Ireland with specifically designed, validated products to support their innovation," ​said Coll. 

Growth in biologics output in Ireland

There are over 30,000 people working in the biopharma industry in Ireland today, with the same number of jobs supported indirectly. Medical and pharmaceutical exports were approximately €80bn (US$95bn) in 2019, an increase from €69bn in 2017. Almost half – €39bn – is attributed to the biopharma industry, found the July 2020 published Collins McNicholas’ Biopharma Repor​t.

While Ireland has a strong tradition of pharmaceutical manufacturing, the report noted that, in the last 20 years there has been a rapid expansion of biologics production. In 2003, there were just two biologics manufacturing sites in Ireland and the market was extremely small. Today, there are over 20 biologics manufacturing sites in the country, according to the review.

That report tracks recent investment and planned spend by biopharma companies in Ireland.

Meanwhile, Pfizer announced earlier this month, on November 2, that it was investing around €300m in its Irish operations to support the further development of existing manufacturing sites Dublin, Kildare and Cork.  

That capital outlay would provide additional manufacturing and laboratory capacity and would boost headcount by around 300 posts over the next two to three years.

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