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Randi Hernandez was science editor at BioPharm International from September 2014 to May 2017.
The new location will increase Bristol-Myers Squibb's biologics manufacturing capacity.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) announced on Nov. 14, 2014 that it plans to open a large-scale biologics manufacturing plant in Cruiserath, Ireland. The new facility will house six 15,000-L bioreactors, a purification area, and a laboratory/office space, and will be built on the grounds of the company’s existing bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.
The project is estimated to be a $900-million investment, based on the cost of a similar plant that was recently constructed in Devens, Massachusetts. The change of facility type has larger implications about the development strategies of some pharmaceutical companies that have historically focused on small-molecule production.
Biologics make up more than half of the drugs that Bristol-Myers has in its pipeline, according to a press release. BMS' roster of biologics drugs include cancer drugs Yervoy (ipilimumab), which in the third quarter of 2014 jumped 47% to produce a worldwide revenue of $350 million, and Sprycel (dasatinib), which enjoyed 22% growth to $385 million. The company also has the injectable rheumatoid arthritis drug Orencia (abatacept), which saw an 18% jump to $444 million, according to an earnings report from the company.
BMS boasts a 50-year manufacturing presence in Ireland. The construction will support 400 new jobs in the industry, and according to Prime Minister Enda Kenny T.D., the BMS plant opening will help Ireland “secure recovery” so that the country can attract new jobs and investments.