Bristol Myers Squibb’s biologics manufacturing facility in County Dublin is the second biggest investment won by IDA Ireland. Credit: IDA Ireland.
The proposed plant will manufacture BMS's biologic medical products. Credit: Bristol-Myers Squibb.
BMS’s biologics facility in Devens was built at a cost of $900m. Credit: Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In November 2014, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), a global pharmaceutical company based in New York, announced plans to build a state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing facility in County Dublin, Ireland.

The plant will produce the company’s biologic medicines across multiple therapeutic areas and is intended to significantly increase its manufacturing capacity. It will also play a significant role in BMS’s global manufacturing network.

The project is expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs and 400 skilled professional jobs during its initial phase, creating a significant economic boost for Dublin.

The facility’s construction, commissioning and validation are expected to be completed in four years, in order to begin operations in 2019.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investment in Ireland

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s product portfolio includes a wide range of approved and investigational biologic medicines for a number of therapeutic areas, including oncology, virology and immunoscience.

“The project is expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs and 400 skilled professional jobs during its initial phase, creating a significant economic boost for Dublin.”

BMS is focusing on the research and development (R&D) of biologic medicines due to their increasing use in the treatment of serious diseases. More than 50% of its R&D pipeline consists of biologic medicines.

The company’s new investment in Ireland, where BMS has maintained a significant manufacturing presence for 50 years, emphasises the company’s focus on the biologics field, in which Ireland is already a key market.

BMS’s new facility is the second biggest investment won by Industrial Development Agency Ireland’s (IDA) life sciences division. IDA is an agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland.

To support the growth of the biologics industry, the Irish Government, together with a number of universities, has established a National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) centre, which offers quality training and research experience to more than 2,000 people a year.

Details of the Bristol Myers Squibb biologics manufacturing facility in County Dublin

The state-of-the-art facility will be built in the Cruiserath industrial area on the same site as the company’s existing bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.

Known as BMS Cruiserath, the existing facility is a multi-purpose, high-containment, highly automated, bulk production pharmaceutical facility that produces medicines for hypertension, diabetes and HIV.

The biologics plant will span a 30,000m² area and feature six 15,000l large-scale bioreactors, a purification area, and office and laboratory space.

Upon completion, it will employ between 350 and 400 personnel, including scientists, engineers, bioprocess operators, quality specialists and other skilled professionals.

Financing for the biologics plant in County Dublin

BMS has approved funding for the initial phase of the project.

The facility’s full cost is due to be finalised in the second half of 2015 and is expected to be around $900m. This is the same as the cost of construction for the company’s biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts.

Contractors involved in the project

In February 2015, BMS awarded the architectural and engineering contract for the manufacturing facility to Jacobs Engineering Group.

Based in California, Jacobs has considerable experience in delivering pharmaceutical and biotechnology projects worldwide.

Marketing commentary on Bristol Myers Squibb

BMS is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of innovative medicines for ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and psychiatric disorders.

The company’s R&D is considered to be one of the most productive in the industry. In 2014, it invested around $4.5bn for the discovery and development of new medicines.

In 2015, BMS was ranked fourth among Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in the pharmaceutical industry. It also featured among the top three pharmaceutical companies for innovation and social responsibility.