GE Healthcare Invests in Ireland Biopharma Manufacturing Campus

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GE Healthcare’s GE BioPark Cork will hold four KUBio manufacturing facilities; GE will also collaborate with NIBRT for biopharmaceutical training.

GE Healthcare will invest €150 million (167.5 million USD) in a new biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus on Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Ireland’s strategic site at Loughbeg, Ringaskiddy, County Cork, the company announced on Sept. 19, 2016. GE BioPark Cork, subject to contract and planning approvals, will hold Europe’s first four KUBio, prefabricated, off-the-shelf bio-manufacturing facilities, owned and run by GE customers. GE will run centralized, shared utilities and site services. To further develop biopharma manufacturing skills and expertise in Ireland, GE and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) also announced today their plan to create a NIBRT-GE Single-use Centre of Excellence at NIBRT’s Dublin facility. NIBRT expects to train up to 1500 bioprocessing professionals annually on next-generation biologic manufacturing technologies that will be used in GE BioPark Cork’s manufacturing facilities.

GE BioPark Cork is expected to be home to more than 500 new jobs when fully operational; 400 with biopharma companies and a further 100 employed directly by GE. The construction phase, subject to planning approvals, is expected to begin by mid-2017 and create up to 800 construction jobs. The project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

According to the press release, GE’s KUBio enables pharmaceutical companies to quickly deploy new biologics manufacturing capacity and bring medicines to market faster. KUBios increase manufacturing flexibility and are between 25 and 50% more cost-effective to build than comparable traditional facilities. Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by 75% and water and energy use by approximately 80%. Build time can be shortened to 18 months from the usual three years.

"The Biopharma industry makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports, and is one of the fastest growing sectors,” said Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, in the press release. “I am delighted that GE is making a significant investment in Cork. This is a further testament to our talented workforce. All investment and jobs created has a positive knock on effect on the wider region.  Over 28,000 people currently work in biopharma and 6000 of those work in biologics. This subsector is expected to double in the coming years and will provide both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry and training providers to collaborate on promoting the range of career opportunities available."


“Pharma companies worldwide are racing to respond to patient needs with new life-changing biological medicines, and GE is investing in technology and service solutions, as well as industry skills and expertise, to enable them to make and get their products to market more quickly,” said Kieran Murphy, CEO, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, GE Healthcare, in the press release. “We are delighted to be investing once again in Ireland, where we have ourselves a long history of manufacturing our own medical imaging products.”

Source: GE Healthcare