Late 2004 for validation purposes but plant officially opened in September 2005
New biotech production plant
Grange Castle, Clondalkin, Ireland
Pfizer’s Biotechnology Campus in Clondalkin, Ireland, was opened in September 2005.
It was originally built at an estimated cost of $1.8bn by Wyeth, which was formerly known as American Home Products (AHP). The facility became part of Pfizer’s assets in October 2009 when it acquired Wyeth.
The multiproduct biopharmaceutical campus is located in the 90-acre Grange Castle International Business Park in Clondalkin, Ireland. The facility focuses on biopharmaceuticals and vaccines.
The Pfizer Biotechnology campus houses various groups involved in the product development process, including the Manufacturing Sciences and Technology Group, the Technical Services Group and the Global Biotherapeutics Technologies Group. Around 1,100 people are employed at the site.
The facility is strategically located, as Ireland is a prime location for pharmaceutical investments in Europe.
The facility is part of Pfizer’s speciality biotech operating unit, which also includes Pfizer’s facilities in Andover, Sanford and Pearl River in the US; Havant in the UK; Algete in Spain; and Strängnäs in Sweden.
Phases of expansion at Pfizer’s Dublin-based biotechnology campus
The original facility was designed to meet its current needs and future capabilities. It facilitates manufacturing of bulk drug substance and fill-finishing biologics, vaccines and antibiotics in one campus.
The development laboratory at the facility was expanded in April 2007 from 2,500m2 to 8,500m². This project required an investment of $32m and was fully supported by the Irish Development Agency (IDA).
In 2009, Suite A1 was built to support a clinical programme. A second syringe line was added to Suite 3 in 2010.
Pfizer announced a $200m (€145m) expansion of the facility in September 2011. Work will include the construction of Suite 2 and Suite 4, which were expected to be operational by Q3 2012. The expansion will add 4,263m2 building space.
Suite 3 will be expanded to manufacture pre-filled syringes for Pfizer drug Prevenar 13. Cell bank storage expansion is scheduled to be opened in Q1 2012.
Manufacturing and drug development at the Irish multiproduct biopharmaceutical campus
The drug development unit moves products from the research pipeline to commercial-scale manufacturing. It coordinates and validates technologies and procedures required to take drug substances into full production.
The drug substance facility carries out the beginning and intermediate stages of manufacture for cell culture products. This includes media preparation, fermentation and purification.
The drug product unit then packages the products as sterile vials. The stages are formulation, vial preparation, filling, capping and inspection.
The Grange Castle facility produces etanercept, an active ingredient in rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel. It also manufactures paediatric pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevenar.
Construction of the globally important biotechnology campus
The Grange Castle facility development work began in October 2002. The construction schedule was planned to carry on limited production in the final quarter of 2004 for validation, which in turn allowed the plant to open on time in September 2005.
Construction required more than 15,000t of structural steel, 160,000ft of process piping, 2,400 items of equipment, 7,587 engineering drawings and 1,200 specific validation protocols. Zenith Technology was responsible for the validation of all automated systems.
Contractors involved in the project
Consulting engineers working on the project included Jacobs Engineering, Bovis Lend Lease, Project Management and Arup Consulting Engineers.
Project management was overseen by Wyeth Medica Ireland, Wyeth BioPharma and Wyeth Global Engineering.
Project management support was provided by Arup, Atkins Faithful & Gould, Bio-Pharmaceutical Consulting, Keating & Associates.
Roadbridge, Fisher, P J Hegarty, Mercury Engineering, Suir, H A O’Neill, Cronin and Buckley, GFM Systems (roofing), Crean Mosaics (flooring), SIAC, Prince Cladding, Industrial Logistics, Serco, J Sisk and Son and G F May were some of the contractors carrying out work at the site.
Equipment for the fit-out of the facility was provided by BOC Edwards, Bosch Gmbh, Bruns Pak, Alfa Laval, Millipore, Steris, Aqua Chem, Schneider Electric Ireland, Vivendi Water Systems and York.