Director, BiopharmaChem Ireland
The Alliance for Regenerative Medicines (ARM) estimates that there are over 980 companies worldwide working in the advanced therapeutics space. This is the next wave of biopharma innovation and Ireland needs to be involved.
medicines to cell based immuno-oncology and mRNA vaccines. There are currently 1600 clinical trials underway and $10 billion was invested in the sector in 2019. BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI) sees two opportunities for Ireland to get involved.
Here products are made in a more traditional manufacturing setting and would represent a shift from traditional biologics manufacture to cell-based platforms. This is an emerging area and the time is right to invest in the necessary infrastructure and skills. To this end, BPCI is working closely with a group led by NIBRT that is exploring this in detail.
Takeda have already established cell-based manufacture at their site in Grangecastle, Dublin and recently announced a further investment of €36 million with the creation of 100 jobs to expand this facility further. UK based biopharma company, MeiraGTx, announced a multimillion euro investment in Shannon where they will manufacture viral vectors and plasmids, creating 100 jobs in the process. Recently Pfizer announced a €40 million investment at its Grangecastle facility into the manufacture of key drug substance for its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Maynooth based company Avectas have developed an exciting platform technology in the area.
Recently Pfizer announced a €40 million investment at its Grangecastle facility into the manufacture of key drug substance for its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Digitisation of supply of autologous products
More suited to a hospital setting, autologous CGT products have complex and sensitive value and supply chains. We are currently working with EY and IDA Ireland to explore opportunities to manage these supply chains out of Ireland, harnessing the capabilities of the technology-based sector in the country.
Given Ireland’s importance as a manufacturer and supplier of biopharma products it seems logical that it enhances this capability by developing a strong CGT and vaccines sector in the country. Present indications point to more investment in this area in the future.