Acquisition will lead to over 100 jobs in the next five years
Cork, 23rd June, 2011 – Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D., today welcomed the announcement that BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN) has reached agreement with Pfizer to acquire its manufacturing facility in Shanbally, Cork. BioMarin, a California headquartered company, plans to create over 100 high quality jobs in the next 5 years with the support of Government through IDA Ireland.
The company is investing $48.5 million to purchase the Shanbally plant, a 133,000 sq.ft. bulk biologics manufacturing facility. Biomarin focuses on the treatment of rare diseases and has a number of new product candidates in late stage development. The company plans to occupy the Shanbally plant in a phased transition with substantial manufacturing activities being tied to results of its ongoing Phase 3 clinical study for N-acetylgalactosamine 6-sulfatase (GALNS) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA (MPS IVA, also known as Morquio A Syndrome). It is anticipated that the facility will be licensed for GALNS production by 2015.
Welcoming today’s announcement Minister Bruton said “If we are to get out of the crisis we’re in, one crucial aspect of this will be to build on our traditional strengths as an economy. The pharmaceutical industry has developed into a particular strength of the Irish economy in recent years: most of the world’s leading companies in the field have a presence here and we have developed an industry which plays a global role out of all proportion to the size of our economy.
“However it is crucial that we continue to set and meet ever more ambitious targets in this area. With the right policies success can breed more success, and I am determined that we must build on our strengths in this sector and today’s very welcome announcement to create further jobs and get our country back to work”.
Jean Jacques Bienaimé, Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin stated, “The new plant in Shanbally greatly expands our manufacturing capacity to accommodate our growing commercial portfolio and advancing clinical programs.”
Mr. Bienaimé continued, “The new facility in Shanbally also diversifies our manufacturing risk and provides us with an attractive business environment. The facility is state-of-the-art, utilizing disposable technology and flexibly designed to run either fed batch or perfusion processes. This gives us tremendous latitude for the types of products that can be produced at the plant and allows us to focus efforts on the technical transfer of our next commercial product into the facility.”
Commenting on the announcement IDA Ireland CEO, Barry O’Leary, said, “This is a strategically important development for BioMarin as it is the first time the company has placed internal biopharmaceutical production activities outside of the US. It is also the next phase in BioMarin’s expansion into Ireland’s Life Sciences industry, following the establishment of an international Supply Chain and Logistics presence in Dublin earlier this year. The decision to acquire the Shanbally plant is a significant endorsement of Ireland’s wealth of talent and expertise.”
“Ireland has a long, successful track-record of attracting significant pharmaceutical investment from multinationals. We have established Ireland as the second largest Development and Manufacturing (D&M) location in the world for Biopharmaceuticals, after the US. I am delighted to welcome BioMarin, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, to Ireland and look forward to working closely with the company as it develops its operations here”, concluded Mr. O’Leary.
Welcoming BioMarin's decision, Pfizer’s Vice President, External Supply OpU, Dr Paul Duffy said: “We are very pleased to have successfully found a buyer for the Shanbally site, especially another new manufacturing investor locating in Ireland's growing biopharmaceutical hub. Finding buyers for sites is a challenging endeavour and the IDA played a crucial role in working with us to attract potential acquirers for the facility. I wish to thank them for the key support they have provided throughout this process. Above all else I wish to acknowledge our colleagues in Shanbally and their dedication to their work and continued focus throughout the sale process. Their enthusiasm, talent and capabilities are second to none and I wish them every future success”.
It is expected that the acquisition will close around September 2011, provided pre-sale conditions are met, and subject to consultation approx 65 Pfizer employees will have departed the business at that point. In the intervening months Pfizer will be working with recruiting companies in an on-site Careers Matching Programme to support the transition from Pfizer for those for which no alternative opportunities within the Pfizer network are available.
BioMarin develops and commercializes innovative biopharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. The company's product portfolio comprises four approved products and multiple clinical and pre-clinical product candidates. Approved products include Naglazyme® (galsulfase) for mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI), a product wholly developed and commercialized by BioMarin; Aldurazyme® (laronidase) for mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), a product which BioMarin developed through a 50/50 joint venture with Genzyme Corporation; Kuvan® (sapropterin dihydrochloride) Tablets, for phenylketonuria (PKU), developed in partnership with Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany; and Firdapse™ (amifampridine), which has been approved by the European Commission for the treatment of Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS). Product candidates include GALNS (N-acetylgalactosamine 6-sulfatase), which is currently in Phase III clinical development for the treatment of MPS IVA, amifampridine phosphate (3,4-diaminopyridine phosphate), which is currently in Phase III clinical development for the treatment of LEMS in the U.S., PEG-PAL (PEGylated recombinant phenylalanine ammonia lyase), which is currently in Phase II clinical development for the treatment of PKU, BMN 701, a novel fusion protein of insulin-like growth factor 2 and acid alpha glucosidase (IGF2-GAA), which is currently in Phase I/II clinical development for the treatment of Pompe disease, and BMN 673, a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, which is currently in Phase I/II clinical development for the treatment of genetically-defined cancers. For additional information, please visit www.BMRN.com. Information on BioMarin's website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
About Pfizer: Pfizer is Ireland's largest pharmaceutical employer and investor. The company employs over 4,000 people at locations in Cork, Dublin, Kildare and Limerick and is engaged in a range of manufacturing, commercial and financial/shared services activities. In May 2010 as part of its global plant network strategy announcement Pfizer advised that it would be exiting its operations at Shanbally, but would be seeking to sell the site and preserve roles. For additional information please visit www.pfizer.ie
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The new facility in Shanbally also diversifies our manufacturing risk and provides us with an attractive business environment. The facility is state-of-the-art, utilizing disposable technology and flexibly designed to run either fed batch or perfusion processes. This gives us tremendous latitude for the types of products that can be produced at the plant and allows us to focus efforts on the technical transfer of our next commercial product into the facility.Jean Jacques Bienaimé, Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin