Jordan Norris

Biotech company Horizon Therapeutics is to establish a manufacturing facility in Waterford which will employ about 90 people. Horizon Therapeutics has agreed a deal to buy the existing drug product manufacturing facility currently operated by EirGen Pharma in the IDA Business Park.

40 of EirGen’s employees will transfer to Horizon as part of the deal and Horizon also intends to recruit 50 additional staff for the site. The new global biotech manufacturing operation will produce products for Horizon’s rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory disease portfolio, with the project supported by the IDA.

The proposed Waterford site is the Horizon’s first move directly into manufacturing.

Horizon’s chairman, president and chief executive Tim Walbert said the Waterford plant will play an important role in the company’s global expansion.

“We look forward to leveraging our existing technical operations expertise in Ireland, along with the expertise of the EirGen employees, to build a robust and effective manufacturing operation that will enable us to meet the unmet needs of people impacted by rare diseases around the world.”

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said that the substantial investment is another positive development in Ireland’s growing biopharma industry.

“In addition to the jobs and economic benefits of this project to Waterford, the South East and Ireland, Horizon will add to the growing pharmaceutical cluster in the South East, which to date includes EirGen, MSD, Teva and Sanofi.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Leo Varadkar said it was great to see a company with an established presence expanding its Irish operations in a regional location.

“This is very positive news for Waterford. 40 jobs are secured at EirGen and another 50 on the way in the IDA business park. I think it sends out a really good message that Waterford is the business capital of the South East and a place that more firms are going to invest in.  I will be working with the IDA and local representatives to promote Waterford as a place to invest – an area that has very good transport links, housing is more affordable than many other parts of Ireland, and also the development of the Technological University will be a big boost too. It’s really good news and I want to congratulate everybody involved in helping to make this investment possible.”

Green Party TD Marc O’Cathasaigh said that the investment is a ‘vote of confidence’ in Waterford’s highly skilled workforce.

Marc Ó Cathasaigh, TD

“Today is a good news day for Waterford and a vote of confidence in our highly skilled work force. We have a strong and growing Pharma sector within the city and county and these new jobs will bring benefits to the entire region. It is great to see a business with a Dublin headquarters recognize the value of expanding into the regions. EirGen’s existing and highly skilled staff have a technical expertise which Horizon will use as part of their global expansion with plans to release new medicine within the next 2 years. This will further enhance Waterford’s reputation as a leader in the Pharma sector and will create new career opportunities for Waterford graduates.”

Fine Gael Senator John Cummins says that this is fantastic news for Waterford.

Fine Gael Senator John Cummins.

“Horizon have had their global headquarters in Dublin since 2014, but it’s great to see their expansion into regional Ireland and I really think it’s a fantastic vote of confidence in Waterford. It adds greatly to our growing bio-pharma sector here in the South East region. It’s the intention of the company to recruit an additional 50 roles for the site in 2021 and 2022, which is obviously fantastic news. And there’s ample room for expansion of the existing plant at the site.”