Wednesday 21 February 2018

Amgen to save 280 jobs with purchase of Pfizer factory

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

NEARLY 300 jobs have been saved in Dublin after pharmaceuticals group Amgen said it will buy a factory from Pfizer that had been expected to close.

The manufacturing plant in Dun Laoghaire had been due to be shut with the loss of 280 jobs but yesterday Amgen said it would buy the plant. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

According to Amgen, some 240 employees will transfer over to Amgen. The remaining 40 or so will still be employed by Pfizer.

As part of the deal, Amgen will make Pfizer's products at the facility for an interim period. Pfizer will lease part of the facility from Amgen. The IDA helped broker the deal.

Amgen Manufacturing's senior vice president Madhu Balachandran said the high skill levels among staff at the Pottery Road plant played a part in the decision to takeover the plant.

"As we expand internationally, the Dublin site will help us deliver a growing supply of Amgen medicines for patients worldwide.

"We were impressed with the technical expertise and commitment to excellence demonstrated by the employees who work at the Dun Laoghaire site and look forward to welcoming them to Amgen's global manufacturing team."

Balachandran continued: "We are grateful to the Irish Government and IDA Ireland for their support in helping us secure this world-class facility."

Pfizer Global Supply's vice president for primary care, Dr Paul Duffy, said: "This is a good day for colleagues and for Ireland Inc as it proves we remain an attractive location for high calibre investment.

The IDA's Barry O'Leary, said the news would give a boost to Ireland's Life Sciences sector.

"Today's announcement represents a significant win for Ireland due to Amgen's leading position in the industry and the strategic nature of the proposed development for the company."

Amgen specialises in developing drugs for cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and bone disease. Its best-selling drug, the arthritis therapy Enbrel, last year recorded sales of $3.65bn (€2.69bn).

Irish Independent

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