27 July 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, will today officially open a new expansion at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. in Shanbally, Co Cork. BioMarin has recently extended its site footprint to 20 acres as the company continues to experience a rise in the global demand for its therapies to treat rare genetic diseases that mostly affect children.
Since opening its doors in 2011, the company has grown to 365 employees in Cork, with an additional 67 people based in Dublin and 2,400 employees globally. BioMarin focuses on developing first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics that have the potential to improve clinical outcomes of patients with rare genetic diseases. The company currently has six approved products that are the only drugs available on the market today for the diseases they treat.
This expansion project began two years ago to cater for continued growth at the site and includes an expanded warehouse, new administration and utilities offices, a canteen and conference facilities. The overall project will allow the company to maximise the flexibility of the site with the expansion of the operational manufacturing capacity. The site will also see the installation of a Waste Water Treatment Plant later this year, while three new lab expansions are to be completed by Q3 2018.
Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin stated, “Ireland has proved to be an ideal location to expand our operations. The team at Shanbally has enabled us to accommodate our growing commercial portfolio and advancing clinical programs. Mostly children, our patients suffer from diseases so rare that the entire afflicted population may number as few as 1,000 worldwide. Often inherited, difficult to diagnose, and progressively debilitating, these conditions have, up until now, been largely ignored. As we continue to grow in Shanbally, we are looking to recruit the best and brightest in a variety of disciplines to help us continue our inspiring work for patients.”
Welcoming the expansion, Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, said: “Today’s announcement represents a significant investment in the local economy. Shanbally is BioMarin’s only manufacturing facility outside the US and what they have done in such a few short years is very impressive. The company is continuing to grow and I understand that there are up to fifty open positions across a variety of departments at Shanbally waiting to be filled. BioMarin is a prime example of the high-tech Life Sciences companies that this area of Cork has a reputation for.”
CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan said, “I am delighted that BioMarin continues to consolidate its commitment to its Irish operations in Shanbally. The company’s presence in Cork strengthens Ireland’s global reputation as a biopharmaceutical industry leader and brings high-quality jobs to countless people across the south-west region. We look forward to working closely with the company as it further develops its operations here.”
BioMarin Shanbally was certified by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), on behalf of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in Q1 2017. The Shanbally site was subsequently licensed for commercial supply by the US FDA in May this year for a range of activities including bulk production, Quality Control testing, Quality Assurance release, final product secondary packaging (labeling and packaging) and distribution.