The chairman and CEO of AbbVie, Richard A. Gonzalez, accompanied by other senior leaders of AbbVie, officially opened the company’s newly expanded facility in Sligo today.
The site is a strategic asset for AbbVie due to its involvement in the commercialisation and manufacturing of AbbVie pipeline products in liver disease, oncology and women’s health. The expansion provides increased manufacturing capacity to deliver on AbbVie’s existing portfolio of medicines and to support potential new therapies within AbbVie’s pipeline.
Since the initial announcement of the expansion in 2012, AbbVie has invested €85m in the Sligo facility, resulting in the creation of up to 175 highly skilled jobs in Sligo. The company employs a highly skilled workforce specialising in the disciplines of science and engineering, with 80% having a third level education qualification ranging from degree to PhD level. The new jobs include roles in engineering, quality, pharmaceutical science and other science-based areas. Additionally, the expansion at this facility created more than 200 construction jobs in the local area at its peak. The investment has been supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
“This investment represents our ongoing commitment to Sligo and Ireland as an important part of AbbVie’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing strategy,” said Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, PhD, senior vicepresident, Operations, AbbVie. “Our presence here in Sligo dates back to 1974, and our success in Ireland is a credit to our dedicated staff and management. This expansion builds capacity for existing products and for potential therapies in our pipeline, such as our investigational, all-oral, interferon-free regimen for the treatment of adult patients with chronic genotype 1 (GT1) hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.”
Globally, approximately 160 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C and an estimated three to four million people are newly infected each year. In Europe, approximately 17.5 million people have chronic hepatitis C with GT1 as the predominant genotype.
AbbVie is focused on delivering its small molecule and biologics pipeline to address significant unmet medical needs and advance the wellbeing of patients across the therapeutic areas of immunology, liver disease, oncology, neuroscience and kidney disease. The company’s unique offerings stem from its 125-year pharmaceutical development heritage combined with the innovative focus of a biotech.
AbbVie’s presence in Ireland also includes locations in Dublin and Cork, as well as a second plant in Sligo at Ballytivnan. AbbVie employs more than 400 personnel in Ireland, supporting commercial operations and general operations, and the company was recognized as one of Ireland’s Best Workplaces 2014 by the Great Place to Work Institute. Each of the uniquely focused sites in Ireland manufactures portions of AbbVie’s top 20 products. AbbVie’s current global manufacturing network includes 12 sites across the United States, Europe and Puerto Rico, as well as strategic partnerships with third-party manufacturers.
“I’d like to extend congratulations to AbbVie on their official opening. It is significant to note the substantial benefit the company provides, not just to Sligo but to the whole North West region. Drawing, as it does, workers from counties Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Fermanagh and Mayo allows that benefit to spread out to those local economies,” said Barry O’Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland.
“AbbVie has had a long and deep relationship with Ireland and today’s opening of their new €85m extension to the Manorhamilton site furthers Ireland’s reputation as a leading location for investment for the life sciences sector. The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs prioritises measures to support fast-growing sectors like this so we can increase job creation and ensure economic recovery,” said An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD.