WuXi invests $240m in Irish CDMO operations

WuXi Vaccines, a subsidiary of China-based WuXi Biologics, will spend $240m to build a dedicated vaccine manufacturing facility

Render of WuXi Biologics Campus. Render as seen on company website

WuXi Biologics has announced that its subsidiary WuXi Vaccines, engaged in human vaccine CDMO business, is to invest $240 million and build a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Ireland. This investment follows the 20-year manufacturing Letter of Intent (LOI) signed by WuXi Vaccines earlier this year.

Under the LOI, this new dedicated vaccine manufacturing facility, including drug substance manufacturing (MFG15), drug product manufacturing (DP5) as well as Quality Control labs (QC), will supply a vaccine product for a large global pharma company. The new facility, subject to planning approval, will be located within the WuXi Biologics Campus adjacent to the “Factory of the Future” biologics drug substance manufacturing facility which is scheduled for commercial manufacturing in 2021.

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation of Ireland, said: “I am delighted to announce 200 highly-skilled jobs in WuXi Vaccines, which is in addition to the 400 roles announced last year by WuXi Biologics for Dundalk. Today’s announcement demonstrates, once again, that the Border region is a very attractive location in which to invest.”

Eileen Sharpe, Divisional Manager of Growth Markets, Europe and Emerging Business at Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Ireland, explained that as the first vaccines contract manufacturing facility in Ireland, this planned second project will considerably strengthen the life sciences ecosystem in Ireland.

“Due to process complexity, extensive analytic testing, and rigorous regulatory standards, vaccines are difficult to manufacture, and process and quality control are extremely critical for the quality of the product,” said Dr Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics and Chairman of WuXi Vaccines. “This new project to exclusively manufacture a vaccine for a global large pharma to supply the global market is among the first of its kind in the industry is further testimony to the technical strengths, premier quality, and commercial manufacturing expertise which WuXi Biologics will bring to Dundalk.”

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