US biotech giant Amgen and Pfizer,
the world's biggest pharmaceutical firm, today announced that they have signed
an agreement for the sale of Pfizer’s manufacturing facility located at Dún,
County Dublin to Amgen. The transaction is expected to close in the second
quarter of this year. The development will save 280 Irish jobs.
The Pfizer facility is a 37,000
square-meter aseptic operations facility with freeze dry product and liquid vial
filling operations. The transaction anticipates that the majority of the
employees at the site (approximately 240) will transfer their employment to
Amgen and Pfizer will consult with transferring colleagues in relation to the
implications of the transfer for them. A smaller group (about 40) will remain
employed by Pfizer as part of the terms of the agreement.
Amgen abandoned plans in
2009, to create 1,100 jobs in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.
“As we expand internationally, the Dublin site will help us deliver a growing
supply of Amgen medicines for patients worldwide,” said Madhu Balachandran,
senior vice president, Amgen Manufacturing. “We are impressed with the
technical expertise and commitment to excellence demonstrated by the employees
who work at the Dun Laoghaire site and look forward to welcoming them to Amgen’s
global manufacturing team.”
Balachandran continued, “We are grateful to the Irish government and IDA
Ireland for their support in helping us secure this world-class facility and
look forward to a strong, productive relationship in the years ahead.”
Welcoming the announcement, Dr Paul Duffy, vice president Primary Care, Pfizer
Global Supply said, “This is a good day for colleagues
and for Ireland Inc. as it proves we remain an attractive location for high
calibre investment. We worked determinedly with IDA Ireland to sell the Dublin
facility in order that employment could be retained and I wish to thank
colleagues for their continued commitment throughout the process. We continue to
actively engage in exploring opportunities to divest our Loughbeg and Shanbally
plants in Cork and remain focused on delivering successful outcomes.”
Under terms of the agreement, Amgen
will manufacture Pfizer’s products at the facility for an interim period and
Pfizer will lease a portion of the facility from Amgen for an interim period.
Amgen intends to develop the capability to formulate and fill its biological
products at the site and expand the manufacturing capabilities there over time.
Commenting on the announcement by Amgen to take over the Pfizer facility in
Dun Laoghaire, Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland said, “This investment
by Amgen, the largest biotechnology company in the world, gives a substantial
boost to Ireland’s Life Sciences sector. Today’s announcement represents a
significant win for Ireland due to Amgen’s leading position in the industry and
the strategic nature of the proposed development for the company.”
“The retention of the 240 jobs by Amgen and the 40 staff who will remain
employed by Pfizer, in Dun Laoghaire, is also very welcome news for staff and
management here and is testament to the hard work and dedication with which they
continued to operate this facility during a difficult and uncertain period. I
wish all parties involved every success with this acquisition and to offer the
full support of IDA Ireland to Amgen as it develops its operations here in
Amgen has conducted commercial operations in Ireland since 2000 and employs
about 25 staff members at its offices in North County Dublin
Minister for Enterprise, Jobs
and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, today welcomed the signing of an agreement
which will result in Amgen purchasing Pfizer’s manufacturing facility in Dun
Welcoming the announcement, Minister Bruton, aid, "It
is the primary target of this new Government to get the Irish economy moving,
restore confidence and create jobs.
Today’s announcement, by the world’s largest biotechnology company, shows that
leading corporations do in fact retain confidence in Ireland as a location for
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The retention of 280 jobs at the facility and
the prospect of further job creation, as Amgen grows its Irish operation, is
testament to Ireland’s ability to provide a highly educated and flexible
workforce and pro-business environment.
On behalf of the new Government for National Recovery, I offer my full support
to Amgen as it grows its Irish operations and I am committed to working closely
with IDA Ireland in bringing Ireland’s FDI portfolio to its maximum potential."
PharmaChemical Ireland, the
IBEC group that represents the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, today
welcomed the news that Amgen has agreed to purchase Pfizer’s manufacturing
facility in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. The majority of the employees
(approximately 240) are expected transfer across, while a smaller number (40)
will continue to work for Pfizer.
PharmaChemical Ireland Director Matt Moran said: "The move will secure jobs
and is further proof of Ireland's attractiveness as a place to invest and do
business. Despite a difficult economic environment, the pharmaceuticals industry
has a fantastic track record in this country. We have the people, the capability
and the drive to meet the challenges ahead.
"Amgen is one of the leading global pharmaceutical players and their presence
here further enhances Ireland's reputation as a global hub for the industry. IDA
Ireland is to be congratulated for landing this important investment."
Eight of the top 10 pharmaceuticals companies in the world have major operations
in Ireland, benefiting from a favourable tax regime, a highly-skilled workforce,
strong compliance record and easy access to European markets. The industry
accounts for over half the national exports in value terms - some €50bn in 2010,
employs over 24,500 people and contributes €1bn in corporation tax annually.
from the pharmaceutical/medical devices sector grew by 38% in the period
2004-2010 but direct employment remained in
the low 40,000's;
from the pharmaceutical/medical devices sector account for over 60% of
merchandise exports (in 2009, merchandise exports were 55% of total exports
20 large mainly American-owned firms are responsible for about 33% of total
annual exports but the pharmaceutical industry is under pressure with key
patent expirations such as the ones on the cholesterol drug Lipitor worth
$12bn a year in sales for Pfizer;
-- virtually the dawn of the modern era of medicine -- a total of 1,256 new
drugs have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But the industry today produces roughly the
same number of new medicines that it did 61 years ago;
$65bn was invested in R&D last year in the US alone
but the number of new drugs launched
annually has fallen 44% since 1997.