US-based biotechnology company Amgen opened its newly expanded manufacturing facility in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, in August 2015.
The $300m expansion added production facilities to the existing plant, enhanced its production capabilities and made it a key location for Amgen’s global operations.
The development was part of the company’s long-term strategy to produce all of its medicines at the Dun Laoghaire site to ensure a continuous supply of Amgen’s medicines for seriously ill patients worldwide.
Construction of the project, which was supported by the Irish government through IDA Ireland, began in April 2012 and created more than 500 construction jobs.
The investment has created a positive impact on the Irish economy and strengthened the country’s reputation as a location of excellence for biotechnology investments.
Location of the Amgen manufacturing facility
The aseptic plant is located at Pottery Road in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. Ireland was strategically chosen for the expansion due to its status as the biggest biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing location in the world.
Details of the Amgen facility expansion in Dun Laoghaire
The expansion included the construction of an 11,500m² production facility, known as Production Module III, as well as a new cold chain warehouse spread over a 5,800m² area and the renovation of existing on-site facilities.
A syringe filling facility was added to enhance the plant’s existing capabilities.
Part of the expansion plan was a significant research and development investment involving a major technology process enhancement. This was intended to transform the plant into one of the world’s leading biotechnology manufacturing sites.
Details of Amgen’s existing plant in Dun Laoghaire
The Helix Project is a major research and development facility built by Amgen (previously Immunex) in Seattle.
The aseptic operations facility in Dun Laoghaire was originally owned by Pfizer until it was purchased by Amgen in March 2011.
The 37,000m² facility specialises in secondary manufacturing activities such as formulation, liquid vial filling, lyophilisation and packaging. It also features laboratories and cold chain warehouses.
Under the purchase agreement, Amgen will manufacture Pfizer’s products at the facility for a certain interim period while Pfizer leases a portion for an unspecified length of time.
By owning the facility, Amgen claims to have saved 200 existing jobs and created 100 additional jobs.
Marketing commentary on Amgen
Amgen is a leading biotechnology company engaged in the discovery, development and manufacture of innovative human therapeutics. It claims to have been one of the first companies to bring safe, effective medicines from the lab to the manufacturing plant to patients.
The company specialises in such therapy areas as cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and other serious illnesses.
Key functions of Amgen’s manufacturing include process development, clinical and bulk protein manufacturing, formulation, fill-and-finish, distribution, and quality and regulatory compliance.
Principal therapeutics manufactured by the company include Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa), Enbrel (etanercept), Epogen (epoetin alfa) and Neulasta (pegfilgrastim).