WuXi Biologics to Invest €325m to Build Largest Biomanufacturing Facility Using Single-use Bioreactors in Ireland

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently announced that WuXi Biologics, a Hong Kong-listed (2269.HK) global open-access biologics technology platform company, is to invest €325 million and create 400 new jobs over five years in a new biologics drug substance manufacturing facility on the IDA greenfield site in Mullagharlin in Dundalk.

Headquartered in Wuxi City, China, WuXi Biologics is a global leading platform company providing end-to-end solutions for biologics with a mission to accelerate and transform biologics discovery, development and manufacturing to benefit patients around the world.

This state-of-the-art facility-of-the-future will be built upon the novel approach WuXi Biologics has pioneered deploying multiple single-use bioreactors for commercial biomanufacturing and is also designed to be able to run continuous bioprocessing, a next generation manufacturing technology to be first implemented globally in this campus. A total of 48,000L fed-batch and 6,000L perfusion bioreactor capacity will be installed, representing the world’s largest facility using single-use bioreactors.

The manufacturing project in a 26-hectare campus, the company’s first site outside of China, is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

Speaking at today’s announcement in Dundalk, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, said: “This is the start of something special. We will see the Factory of the Future, right here in Dundalk. It’s the first sizable Greenfield project from China in the pharma sector and I am delighted to see it located here in Dundalk. It’s also the latest in a number of investments in this town which has become a hub for a range of sectors, mainly in the new knowledge-based and pharmaceutical sectors.

Louth hosts National Pen, PayPal, Xerox, Wasdell and Prometric, to name just a few. In 2017 there were 24 IDA-supported companies in the county, and the number of jobs created by them has tripled from 1,300 in 2010 to almost 4,000. It’s all part of the Government’s goal to increase regional investment and associated jobs by up to 40 per cent.”

Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics, added: “We are all excited to initiate our first global site to enable local companies and expedite biologics development in Europe. In addition, this is the start and a critical part of our global biomanufacturing network to ensure that biologics are manufactured to the highest quality and with a robust supply chain to benefit patients worldwide. We are committed to Ireland and will work with all local partners to build this state-of-art next generation biomanufacturing facility as a showcase to the global biotech community.”

Mr. Martin Shanahan, IDA Ireland CEO continued: “This investment is a significant win for Ireland and for the BMW Region particularly as it is WuXi Biologics’ first manufacturing facility outside of China. It also shows that our strategy of market diversification is working.  WuXi Biologics is a strong addition to Ireland’s growing cluster of next-generation biopharmaceutical companies and will be an excellent reference seller for new greenfield Asia Pacific Investment into Ireland. The selection of a BMW regional location is a strong endorsement of IDA’s regional strategy and property strategy to acquire and secure pre-approved planning for biopharma strategic sites. The 400 jobs being created, along with some 700 jobs at the construction phase, will be of substantial benefit to the Region. The company has shown great commitment to Ireland with this project which represents an investment of €325 million. IDA is delighted to support this project and I wish the company every success here in Ireland and in this Region and will follow their progress with interest.”

Today’s announcement expands upon the partnership established among IDA, ISIF and WuXi AppTec group companies. WuXi Biologics’ sister company, WuXi NextCODE, has partnered closely with GMI and ISIF since inception. Both investments and collaborations share a common goal: to advance cutting-edge technologies and high-value-added jobs based in Ireland and serve customers and markets worldwide.