Waterford lands 90 new jobs with arrival of biotech player Horizon

Waterford to become global hub for manufacturing of Horizon’s rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory disease portfolio.

Nasdaq-listed biotech player Horizon Therapeutics plc is to establish a manufacturing facility in Waterford that will employ around 90 people.

The company is purchasing the existing drug product manufacturing facility operated at present by EirGen Pharma, an OPKO health company located on IDA Ireland’s business park in Waterford to facilitate its establishment there.

“Adding to our strong network of contract manufacturing organisations, this facility will also play an important role in our global expansion”

40 of EirGen’s employees are transferring to Horizon as part of the process and are among the 90 people to be employed at the new facility.

“This is very welcome news, and the employment will be of significant benefit to Waterford and the broader South East Region,” said Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Leo Varadkar, TD.

“It’s great to see a company with an established presence expanding its Irish operations in a regional location. It demonstrates Horizon’s commitment to Ireland and will allow the company to avail of the rich talent pool in this sector in the region.”

South East’s design for life

Founded in 2008, Horizon Therapeutics is an innovation-driven biotech company focused on researching, developing, and commercialising medicines that address critical needs of people impacted by rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases.

“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”

In 2014 the company established its global headquarters in Dublin following the combination of the businesses of Horizon Pharma, Inc. and Vidara Therapeutics International plc. Horizon’s Irish operations, located in Connaught House, Dublin 4, has grown to more than 100 people.

As well as its role as global headquarters, Horizon’s Irish operations incorporate several key functions including technical operations, finance, legal and R&D. The company is due to move shortly to a new location on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin.  

“With the successful TEPEZZA launch, ongoing KRYSTEXXA growth and the growth of our marketed medicine portfolio and pipeline it is the right time to add in-house manufacturing capabilities,” said Horizon chair, president and CEO Tim Walbert.

“Adding to our strong network of contract manufacturing organisations, this facility will also play an important role in our 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 Horizon is one of the next generation of high growth biotech companies and this 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. I wish Horizon every success with this new manufacturing facility in Waterford and wish EirGen Pharma continued success with its Irish operations in Waterford where they are a substantial and valued employer.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 18 June 2021

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