Janssen invests $350m in new European biologics production

Janssen is to expand its biologics manufacturing capacity in Europe with a new $350 million (€300 million) investment in its existing site in Ireland.

The investment will also see 200 new jobs created at the site in Ringaskiddy, County Cork, once the construction is completed in two years’ time.

The company says the new investment  will help it increase its manufacturing capacity in biologics, which are playing an ever greater role in Jannsen’s portfolio.

Kyran Johnson, general manager, Janssen Supply Chain Ireland, said: “this expansion project is a significant vote of confidence in our team and one which will increase our manufacturing footprint very significantly, allowing us to continue to meet critical patient needs in the areas of multiple myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.”

The company is currently facing growing biosimilar competition to its longstanding inflammation and immunology blockbuster Remicade, but has next generation products Simponi and Stelara which are helping to soften the blow.

Similarly in multiple myeloma, Velcade also faces biosimilar competition, but the firm’s new treatment for the disease, Darzalex, is tipped to be a major seller.

Johnson & Johnson already has 11 sites throughout Ireland, located in Cork, Dublin and Limerick. The overall operation comprises six manufacturing plants, four commercial offices and an IT centre of excellence.

The investment confirms again Ireland’s place as one of Europe’s preeminent locations for pharma manufacturing.  The decision is also good news for the country in the run up to Brexit – the UK is Ireland’s biggest trading partners, and its exit from Europe could also harm Ireland’s economy.

Uncertainty about the border, and the possible need for the customs checks between Northern Ireland (a part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland remains a major issue, however.

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