14 October 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath T.D. (Fianna Fail, based in Carrigaline, Cork South Central) has officially opened a new €30.5 million ($30 million) manufacturing line at GE Healthcare’s Carrigtohill, Co. Cork facility. The new line, which has created 140 jobs, manufactures injectable diagnostic imaging agents (contrast media) used in Xray and Computed Tomography (CT) procedures around the world.
Minister McGrath welcomed the expansion of GE Healthcare’s plant at the IDA Industrial Park, Carrigtohill, by saying, “GE Healthcare has consistently invested in manufacturing here in Cork, bringing together state-of-the-art technology, global best practices in pharmaceutical healthcare and a highly qualified workforce. I am delighted today to open Line 6, the newest filling line, at the Cork campus, and welcome the creation of 140 jobs at the plant. Today’s opening represents yet another vote of confidence in Cork as a location for pharmaceutical manufacturing. I would like to commend all those who worked on this €30.5 million project and I wish GE Healthcare continued success here in Cork.”
The growing global prevalence of chronic disorders has driven significant growth in Computed Tomography (CT) procedures, leading to increased demand for iodinated contrast media, used to enhance visualization of organs, blood vessels and tissues across disease pathways. GE Healthcare’s Pharmaceutical Diagnostics business develops and manufactures imaging agents used to support over 100 million procedures per year globally, equivalent to three patient procedures every second. It is estimated that the new manufacturing line will increase production capacity at the Cork facility by over 50 percent by 2025.
Speaking at the opening of the new production line, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics, Kevin O’Neill, said, “We expect global demand for iodinated contrast media to double over the next ten years due to the growth of CT imaging procedures. As an industry leader, we understand our responsibility to help meet this growing demand from customers and patients and this new production line is part of our wider commitment to produce 30 million more patient doses of contrast media annually by 2025.”
Eugene Barrett, GE Healthcare Ireland Site Leader, who leads the 765 strong team at the Cork facility, said, “We have a great team here in Cork focused on supplying for our customers and their patients. Next year marks our 30-year anniversary of production and this new production line is central to our continued growth. We are delighted to have Minister McGrath and Kevin O’Neill on campus to celebrate this milestone.”
IDA Ireland Executive Director Mary Buckley said, “Today’s announcement by GE Healthcare is terrific news for Cork and indeed the entire South West Region. It speaks to this global healthcare leader’s continued commitment to Ireland. IDA Ireland remains focused on winning jobs and investments, like this, in regional locations. I wish GE Healthcare every success with this investment and expansion.”
Roles currently open at GE Healthcare include operatives, project managers, engineers, quality control personnel as well as facility management. Current Jobs available at https://jobs.gecareers.com/global/en
The project was delivered over 24 months, with Design & Project Management led by BioPharma Engineering, and construction works completed by MMD Construction.
All stages of GE Healthcare’s contrast media manufacturing, from development of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) to finished product, are managed entirely by GE Healthcare, adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices. With over 4000 employees globally and seven manufacturing sites, the Pharmaceutical Diagnostics business also develops and supplies radiopharmaceuticals used to support diagnosis, monitoring and treatment selection across Neurology, Cardiology and Oncology clinical pathways.