Business Person of the Month

July 2013: Dr Paul Duffy, vice president, Pfizer

By Business & Finance
19 August 2013
Paul Duffy
John Glenny, partner, MERC Partners; Aoife Bradshaw, principal consultant, MERC Partners; Dr Paul Duffy, vice president, Pfizer.

Pfizer will invest $130mn in two of its Irish manufacturing sites – $100mn is being invested in the Grange Castle site in Dublin and $30mn is being invested in the Ringaskiddy site in Cork. Leading Pfizer in Ireland is Dr Paul Duffy.

The investments, which are supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland, will enable the sites to expand their capacity and begin producing more advanced, complex therapies.

Welcoming the announcement Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said Pfizer’s invest is confirmation that Ireland is a key location for companies like Pfizer to expand and grow their business. “I am determined to ensure that we build on such success and provide the opportunities for further growth in this sector and create the jobs we so badly need. Pharmaceuticals and life sciences generally is a hugely important sector for the Irish economy and the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs includes a series of measures to sustain and grow this sector.”

Dr Paul Duffy, vice president, Pfizer said: “We are seeing the benefits of the investments we’ve been making in our innovative core, as evidenced by recent key launches of medicines for stroke prevention, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, as well as significant progress within our mid-to-late stage product pipeline. There is opportunity for Pfizer’s Irish sites to attract the development of new medicines, while also continuing to manufacture existing, important medicines.

“Our Irish operations are significant and we have excellent colleagues across our sites, dedicated to the highest standards of manufacturing quality and excellence. This additional scale and capability arising from these investments ensure both sites are well-placed for the future within the Pfizer global supply network.”

Ringaskiddy investment

The $30mn investment in Ringaskiddy is to develop specialist new capability to manufacture some of Pfizer’s newest medicines in cancer and other future pipeline medicines. This requires flexible development facilities capable of managing a wide range of processes and technology. The introduction of flow processing and innovative technologies requires not just an investment in new equipment but also an increase and deepening of R&D skills, particularly in the area of real-time analytical technologies, flow processing, new technology and scale-up. This investment ensures the Ringaskiddy site will be in a position to be considered for on-going development work on new products, not just for commercial launch, but also for clinical products.

Grange Castle investment

The $100mn investment in Grange Castle is to create additional manufacturing capacity by expanding the unit that produces protein drug substance using mammalian cell culture biotechnology. This unit makes drug substance for Pfizer’s biologic rheumatoid arthritis treatment and a new production line will be established that will increase capacity and thereby double productivity. This in turn will release capacity to allow new mammalian biotechnology drug substances from Pfizer’s development pipeline to be manufactured at the site. Preparation is underway to allow construction to commence with approximately 140 construction jobs over the next year with a peak of 250 jobs. The facility will be operational in 2015, when the first process validation batches will be made.

Pfizer employs approximately 3,200 people at six sites in Ireland across manufacturing, shared services, treasury and commercial operations. Pfizer has invested $7bn in operations in Ireland since opening the first site in 1969 and in 2011 announced a $200mn investment in the Grange Castle site to develop a new suite to expand the Irish manufacturing process for an invasive pneumococcal vaccine. Many of Pfizer’s leading medicines are manufactured for global export from Irish sites.

CV highlights

  • Appointed vice president of the external supply operating unit at Pfizer Global Supply (PGS) in 2011.
  • Prior to this, he was vice-president of Pfizer’s manufacturing in Ireland.
  • As vice-president, Duffy has responsibility for Pfizer’s manufacturing operations in both Ireland and Singapore. He also leads a global team, which coordinates the manufacture of APIs for the company.
  • He joined Warner Lambert in 1991 and filled various roles in technical services, manufacturing, and supply chain.
  • He began his career as a development chemist with SmithKline Beecham.
  • He holds a BS in chemistry and a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from NUI Galway, and an MBA from the Open University, UK.

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Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been rewarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.