Alexion Pharma expanding into Athlone with creation of 40 jobs
Alexion Pharma Ireland, a subsidiary of Connecticut-headquartered Alexion Pharmaceuticals, plans to open a vialling facility in the mid-west town. Vialling involves the bottling of medicine.
It is buying two buildings in the mid-west town owned by Alkermes, originally owned by Elan, which have been vacant for some time.
The deal is expected to close before the end of March.
Alexion has a market capitalisation of about €15bn and expects sales to reach €1.13bn in 2013, all based on one drug, Soliris. This costs as much as €300,000 a year per patient, among the world's most expensive therapies.
The medicine treats two rare blood diseases that affect fewer than 20,000 people in the world.
The company came second in the 'Forbes' list of the "world's most innovative companies" last year, second only to Salesforce.
The specialist drug maker is also in the process of opening a new lab, office and supply chain facility in Dublin.
“The acquisition of the Athlone facility is a sign of our commitment to growing our newly established global supply chain operation in Ireland. As we continue to grow and expand our operations to serve more patients, this facility will help us to provide life-transforming medicines to patients in Europe and around the world” said the company’s executive vice president Stephen Squinto.
IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary said the decision would strengthen the life sciences cluster in the Midlands region.