FDI of the Month April 2021: PPD Lab to expand Athlone facility and create new jobs

FDI of the Month, Pharma | Thu 6 May | Author – Business & Finance

The pharmaceutical company PPD Lab will create up to 180 new jobs at its Athlone laboratory over the next three years.

PPD Lab, a leading global contract research organisation, is expanding its Athlone GMP (good manufacturing practices) laboratory, significantly increasing the size of its current facility and adding cell and gene therapy testing to the operation’s portfolio of services. This expansion is expected to create 180 new jobs over the next three years.

The expansion will enhance the company’s ability to deliver global scientific and technical expertise to meet growing customer demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. By offering these services at its Athlone operation, PPD can provide clients in these locations with the same services already available in the U.S. through its Middleton, Wisconsin, GMP lab.

Christopher Fikry, M.D., Executive Vice President of PPD® Laboratories said of the news:

“Our enlarged operations will enhance our capabilities in leading technologies related to biopharmaceutical testing and speciality testing for biologics and small molecules. This expansion will enable PPD to provide customers with additional services aimed at reducing time to market for new drug products in important areas such as cell and gene therapies. We are thankful our expansion has been welcomed and supported by the Irish Government and IDA Ireland, and we’re confident these new developments will benefit our customers.”

The Athlone GMP lab provides fully integrated analytical services across all phases of pharmaceutical development and commercialisation, helping clients fulfil regulatory requirements for release testing and qualified person (QP) services for clinical and marketed pharmaceuticals, including small and large molecules, inhaled products, and cell and gene therapies.

The current 4,460 sq. meter (48,000 sq. foot) operation will grow to 7,710 sq. meters (83,000 sq. feet) upon completion of the project, which is expected to be fully functional by mid-2022 and is projected to create 180 new jobs over the next three years. The current operation employs nearly 300 highly skilled scientists and project managers who support the demand for PPD’s services, which includes testing to support the development of novel and advanced pharmaceuticals and therapies.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD said:

“I’m really pleased that PPD is continuing to invest in its Athlone operations in an expansion that will create 180 jobs over three years and significantly add to the capabilities of the company’s current facility. This is a really positive development for Athlone and the Midlands Region.”