Global Processing

Genzyme to Expand in Ireland

April 7, 2008
According to the Associated Press, U.S. biotechnology company Genzyme Corp. announced plans recently to expand its manufacturing and research facilities in Ireland.

The Irish government said it was offering assistance to subsidize the planned 130 million euro ($200 million) expansion of Genzyme''s operations in the southeast city of Waterford. It said the terms were confidential.

Genzyme of Cambridge, Mass., set up its first manufacturing facility in Waterford in 2001 and plans to hire another 170 people, boosting its Irish work force to more than 600.

The company said it plans to build a new production line for soft-gel capsules, expand its existing plant for filling medicine vials, and add lab and office space.

Genzyme specializes in making drugs for use in fighting rare genetic disorders, kidney disease and cancer and helping organ-transplant recipients. It employs more than 10,000 people worldwide.

Ireland, a country of 4.2 million, is a major European hub for drug development and production. Most of the world''s biggest drug companies have manufacturing and R&D operations here that employ about 25,000 people.

Trade, Employment and Enterprise Minister Micheal Martin noted that half of all foreign corporate investments to Ireland so far this year have come from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

The Genzyme move was the second major foreign investment this year for Waterford, a city known internationally because of its hand-cut crystal factory. Last month the Israeli generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced a 65 million euro ($100 million) plan to expand its Waterford campus and boost its work force to 815 from 650.