Eli Lilly made a commitment to invest approximately $400m in a biologics manufacturing facility in December 2006. The IE42 bio-technology manufacturing facility is located at the company’s Kinsale site near Dunderrow in County Cork, Ireland. The site currently occupies approximately 50 hectares.
The Kinsale site is one of six bulk manufacturing sites for Eli Lilly worldwide. It was first opened in 1981 and currently employs more than 500 personnel, who are involved in the manufacture of active ingredients for a number of important drugs including Zyprexa (olanzapine) for treatment of schizophrenia, and Evista (raloxifene) for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Opened in phases, the new biopharmaceuticals facility produces drugs to treat illnesses including cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Commercial operation of the plant started ahead of schedule in 2011. The investment has helped to enable the site to produce monoclonal antibodies. The plant was sponsored by the Irish Development Agency (IDA Ireland), the Irish Government and local authorities, who provided major support to Eli Lilly.
Eli Lilly chose its existing Dunderrow site for the new manufacturing facility due to the availability of personnel and the support from IDA Ireland.
The foundation-laying ceremony for the new manufacturing building occurred on 7 April 2008. The 158,000ft² (15,607m²) three-storey facility took two years to build and was completed in 2010.
Details of Eli Lilly’s new biopharmaceutical facility
The site is used for the commercial development of mAb technology at Kinsale. To provide quality personnel for the facility Eli Lilly entered into an agreement with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT).
A research collaboration also existis between the NIBRT and Eli Lilly’s Biologics Research and Development Organisation (BR&D) in Indianapolis, US. The agreement involves the co-development of analytical technologies to enable the monitoring of cell culture conditions.
The Bowen Group subsidiary BMD & Co was chosen to carry out a major section of the biotech facility installation. In May 2008, BMD was awarded a contract for the fabrication and installation of the process piping at the plant, many of which are modular. As part of the same project, BMD was also responsible for the installation and upgrade of the utility services to support both the new biotech facility and existing production buildings at Kinsale.
The project manager for the facility construction and outfitting was a team from Eli Lilly SA. The plans were made by Jacobs Engineering and the structural engineering was carried out by Arup Consulting Engineers.
The main contractor was John Sisk & Son and the civil contractor was Rohcon. The environmental engineers were Fehily Timoney & Company and the archaeologist was Sheila Lane & Associates.
The construction project involved a three-storey pharmaceutical biotech manufacturing facility, which included integral administration, laboratory, storage facilities and utilities with additional piped services carried on pipe bridges linking the adjacent IE30 facility.