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The Irish biopharmaceutical market is booming and VWR is part of it

The Irish biopharmaceutical market is booming and VWR is part of it

2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of VWR in Ireland. In the mid 1990’s when VWR set up operations in Dublin the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland was still in its infancy, and biologic pharmaceuticals were only beginning to emerge. Only a handful of multi-nationals were located in the south of the country and they mainly manufactured bulk-active pharmaceutical ingredients. Twenty years on and the landscape of Ireland’s industry has changed. Direct foreign investment of nearly €10 billion in the last decade has launched Ireland’s biopharmaceutical industry onto the global stage.

Today, Ireland is one of the world’s largest exporters of pharmaceuticals exceeding €35 million in 2015. Of the 75 biopharmaceutical companies in Ireland, more than 30 are FDA approved and nine of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies have substantial operations in Ireland.

Major investments in biologics manufacturing have placed Ireland at the top of list as a location of choice for multi-nationals. There is an estimated €3 billion in capital expenditure being invested into the sector at the moment. Leading the way in investment is Bristol-Myers Squibb with its nearly €1 billion dollar state-of-the art biologics manufacturing facility in Dublin. At 30 000 sq feet, boasting six 1000 litre bioreactors, this site will produce multiple therapies for the companies’ biologics division. Other companies are joining suit in investing in Irish operations, Eli Lily, Shire, Alexion, BioNua and Abbvie all have significant expansions totalling nearly €650 million combined.

The sector directly employs over 25 000 people with an additional 25 000 indirectly in support roles. Ireland has a highly diversified and skilled labour force to support this growing industry. Over 70 000 or, 28% of Irish students, chose science or engineering in 2015. The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, located in Dublin, is a global centre of excellence for training and research in bioprocessing. Collaborating with government, academia and industry the facility trains and up-skills over 2000 industry professionals annually.

The large scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing environment in Ireland is not without its challenges. As they shift from R&D to manufacturing companies face pressures to ensure affordability, secure their supply chain and comply with stringent regulatory demands. VWR offers the flexibility, innovation, supply chain security and regulatory compliance that the industry demands.

Going beyond distribution, VWR in Ireland – and all over the globe - offers industry experience, global reach, on-site support, services and a breadth of products that is unparalleled within the industry. Our operational structure in Ireland is designed to support our partners in the biopharmaceutical environment. Over 100 associates play an important role in delivering value to our customers. Within our sales team there are highly skilled specialists in the areas of production, critical environment and single-use systems who provide our customers with turnkey solutions for every step of their workflow and processes.

Your contact in Ireland: Ciaran O’Flaherty, Business Development Sales Manager Production,

Your benefits from working with VWR:

  • VWR’s global reach: Our ability to coordinate and replicate products and services in both the EU and US
  • Quality and regulatory affairs: VWR’s systems and process for quality management, regulatory affairs, compliance and EU compliance knowledge builds confidence that our customers will get the support required
  • Adaptability and customer focus: Our ability to move and change to the fast moving, and often changing, landscape of a biopharmaceutical start-ups proved essential to our success
  • Our facilities: Our state-of-the-art facilities and our warehousing and transport services
  • Supplier relationships: VWR’s global relationship with the major players in this product segment allowed us to offer unrivalled choice to the end user
  • People: A strong VWR team make the difference, bringing skill sets from different teams with expertise to meet the customer's needs