Life Sciences and Energy

Life Science 50 2017: D-I

By Business & Finance
12 July 2017
Life Science 50:

The Life Science 50, in association with HSBC, is a definitive guide to the top performing life science companies across Ireland, a country now a globally recognised centre of excellence in this industry. Here, we feature the Life Science 50: D-I.



EirGen Pharma

Founded by Tom Brennan and Patsy Carney in 2005, EirGen manufactures high potency drugs for cancer chemotherapy.

Last year it was acquired by US drugs company Opko for $135m.

Last year the company revealed plans to expand EirGen’s Westside Business Park facility in Waterford, as well as establish a Product Development Centre at Waterford Business and Technology Park. The move will create 200 highly skilled jobs over five years.

Chief Executive Officer: Patsy Carney

Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly’s investment in Ireland began with the construction of a manufacturing facility outside of Kinsale, Co. Cork in 1978. The facility began production in 1981.

Today, Lilly employs around 1,000 people in Ireland, spread between three operations in Kinsale, Cork city and Dublin.

The US pharma giant is to proceed with a €200m expansion at its Kinsale manufacturing site in Co Cork. The company has invested heavily in Kinsale over the past nine years, and the new development will see the site becoming the centre of excellence for Lilly’s continuous manufacturing for active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The project will create hundreds of new jobs in addition to the 500 people already employed in Kinsale.

Country Lead: Deirdre Bourke


Endo International is a global specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes branded pharmaceutical and generic pharmaceutical products, as well as over-the-counter medications.

Endo has its global headquarters in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Employing approximately 6,200 people worldwide, Endo commenced operations in 1997 by acquiring pharmaceutical products, related rights, and assets from DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company.

Since then, the company has expanded, and in addition to growing the company Endo is focused on leveraging a research and development model that focuses on lower risk, near-term projects. In 2016, the company bought Par Pharmaceuticals for $8.05bn.

During 2017, the company announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Mexico City-based Grupo Farmacéutico SOMAR to Advent International for approximately $124m subject to customary adjustments for cash, debt and working capital.

Endo intends to classify the SOMAR assets and liabilities as held-for-sale in second-quarter 2017 and consequently expects to record an estimated pre-tax impairment charge of approximately $100m, primarily impacting the carrying balances of goodwill and other intangible assets.

President: Bob Cobuzzi

GE Healthcare

GE first established a presence in Ireland over three decades ago. Since then the company has grown steadily in Ireland and over the past decade that growth has accelerated through a series of acquisitions.

In late 2016, the company announced a $40m investment at its Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork facility, with 140 extra employees expected to join the 500 people currently on-site.

The facility was established in 1992 and fills, packs and distributes contrast media used in medical scans, such as MRI scans, to over 80 international markets.

The company employs around 2,200 people in 19 businesses in Ireland.

Director: Michael Murphy

Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercialises medicines. Gilead has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California where the company was originally founded in 1987.

Since then, Gilead Sciences has grown to become one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies, with 9,000 employees across six continents.

In Ireland, its facility in Cork is responsible for the manufacturing, quality control, packaging, and the release and distribution of the company’s products in the EU and other international locations.

Vice President, Manufacturing Operations: David Cadogan

GSK Pharmaceuticals

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops a broad range of innovative products in three primary areas of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare.

Employing over 1,800 people in Ireland at its commercial premises in Dublin and its world-class manufacturing sites in Cork, Dungarvan and Sligo, it researches, develops, manufactures and makes available a broad range of innovative healthcare products.

Last year the company announced the completion of a €12m investment at the Cork site, including a kilo scale facility and a technical development laboratory.

GSK in Dungarvan produces a variety of over-the-counter pharmacy and oral care products is the global home of Panadol.

The Cork site produces the active ingredients for a range of medicines for diseases such as childhood cancer, depression, diabetes, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and arthritis, while the Sligo facility is dedicated to skincare producing around 30 million skin medicines and products every year.

Vice President & General Manager, Pharmaceuticals: Aidan Lynch


Helsinn is a pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland and premises in Ireland and the US.

Best known for its cancer-care therapies, more recently the company has developed medical devices in therapeutic niche areas.

The company opened its Damastown, Dublin finished dosage facility in 1997.

In 2009 it invested over €13m to build its centre of excellence and stability centre on-site, followed by a further 2011 investment to increase its analytical testing capacity, and employs around 180.

Recently, Helsinn announced that the first patient has been dosed in a Phase 2 dose-optimisation study of pracinostat in combination with azacitidine in patients with higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) who are previously untreated with hypomethylating agents (HMAs).

The two-stage study will be conducted at approximately 25 sites and is expected to enroll up to 120 patients with high and very high risk MDS per the Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R).

Local General Manager, Pharma Business: Padraig Somers


Hollister Ireland, which specialises in products for ostomy care, was established in Co. Mayo in 1976.

Located on a 40-acre site in Ballina, Hollister is one of the largest employers in the county. The company has made a number of strategic investments in the last number of years, most recently in June 2014 when an €80m investment was announced.

In addition to manufacturing, the facility handles R&D, new product development, project engineering, technical services, inventory, distribution and sales invoicing.

Director: Bill Doran

Horizon Pharma

Horizon Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing, acquiring and commercialising products.

The company markets a portfolio of products in arthritis, inflammation and orphan diseases.

In February 2015, Horizon Pharma announced the creation of 60 new jobs as it officially opened its new global corporate headquarters in Dublin.

Last year, the company announced its Q1 2016 results, headlined by an 81% growth in sales and a 122% growth in adjusted EBITDA to $72m.

In June, the company kicked-off a campaign in partnership with Global Genes to raise awareness of the significant unmet need and challenges facing individuals and families living with rare diseases.

The sale of a European subsidiary that owns the marketing rights to PROCYSBI (cysteamine bitartrate) delayed-release capsules and QUINSAIR (levofloxacin nebuliser solution) in EMEA regions to Chiesi for $72.2m was also announced during June.

Executive Vice President, Company Secretary & Managing Director: David Kelly


Icon is a global provider of outsourced drug development services to biopharma, medical device, government, biosimilar and generic organisations.
Early last year, Icon announced a new global innovation hub for Ireland, creating 200 new jobs.

The company, founded in Dublin in 1990, now has around 12,200 employees and operates in 37 countries.

In July, the company announced that its Firecrest solutions had won gold and silver awards for eLearning and digital animation. Firecrest was awarded gold in the International eLearning Awards (IELA) in the blended learning category, and received a silver award for digital animation in the Summit International Awards.

Executive Chairman: Ciaran Murray