In October 2017, Janssen Sciences Ireland began constructing an expansion of its biologics manufacturing facility in Ringaskiddy, County Cork, Ireland.
The expansion was aimed to increase production capacity to meet patient demand.
Estimated to cost €300m ($354.38m), the expansion will create employment opportunities for approximately 450 people during construction and 200 more upon commissioning in 2019.
The existing biologics manufacturing facility in Ringaskiddy began operations in 2005. Established by Centocor Biologics (now Janssen), the facility has a total built-up area of 28,400m² on 40.1ha of land.
The facility can undertake fermentation and purification tasks and includes a process development centre, which enables technology transfer for development of production processes coming through clinical trial stages.
It was designed to provide pre-clinical, clinical and commercial capacity, as well as multi-product capability. The facility employs approximately 555 personnel.
The expansion primarily involves the construction of a new building with a total floor space of 19,116m². It also includes expansion of the existing warehouse, laboratory administration buildings, support infrastructure and utilities.
The new production facility will be a single-storey building with a core process area located on the ground floor. It will be equipped with four 15,400l production bioreactors for the manufacture of biologic drug substances. Its capacity can be further expanded with four additional 15,400l bioreactors.
The warehouse expansion will increase material weighing, dispensing and storage capacity, and will add a designated waste material segregation and storage area.
Other facilities to be expanded will be a new steam supply from existing boilers, and new process and potable water supply lines from existing on-site systems. The project will also involve the construction of two new cooling towers for supporting production and cold storage requirements.
Utilities, car parking, underground services, internal roads, yards and pipe racks, will also be upgraded. The capacity of the on-site waste water treatment plant will also be increased as part of the project.
Other upgrades will include expansion of the existing low-voltage power infrastructure, underground fire main around the new building footprints, and BioCork1 lighting and CCTV services.
The expanded facility is expected to produce 72 batches of monoclonal antibody product a year.
The Ringaskiddy facility manufactures products used for the treatment of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and cancer. It produces antibodies and therapeutic proteins derived from cell cultures of genetically modified microorganisms through a water-based process.
The production process involves a cell culture stage and a purification stage. Protein is harvested in the cell culture process and the product goes through a series of purification steps in the purification process before being filled and frozen as a bulk product. The cells are developed in controlled conditions.
The newly expanded facility will be engaged in the production of immunology and oncology treatment products.
PM Group was contracted to provide site evaluation, master-planning and permitting, as well as architecture and engineering design, procurement, construction management support, commissioning and qualification services for the expansion.
John Sisk and Son was awarded the construction contract, while MCSherry was contracted to provide power distribution, plant installation, instrumentation, lighting and general services for a water treatment plant located in the facility.
Based in Beerse, Belgium, Janssen Sciences Ireland is a part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. The firm offers healthcare products and associated services.
Johnson & Johnson has 11 sites located in Ireland, including six manufacturing plants, four commercial offices and an IT centre of excellence. It employs approximately 2,700 skilled people in Ireland.
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