J&J’s Janssen Expands Presence in Ireland

14.09.2021 - Janssen Sciences Ireland, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology arm of US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, has submitted a planning application for a €150 million expansion of its biomedicines facility at Ringaskiddy, County Cork.

The new capacity could create around 180 jobs, the Irish edition of British newspaper The Sunday Independent reported this week, quoting a Janssen spokesman. The company has been operating at the Irish site since 2005, backed by investment initiatives of the Irish Development Agency (IDA).

According to the application submitted in early September, Janssen intends to add about 2,500 m2 of space to the manufacturing premises that house its active pharmaceutics ingredients (APIs) portfolio. Janssen said output would support drugs to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and cancer.

The J&J group’s latest expansion at Ringaskiddy follows a €300 million upgrade completed in 2019, when it  added 19,100 m2 of space and 200 jobs. This project expanded a warehouse, laboratory and administration buildings and adapted the wastewater treatment plant to accommodate increased volume. At the time, the company said the investment would boost capacity of APIs for drugs that treat multiple myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

Even with the newest project, Ringaskiddy will still lose jobs, as Swiss drugmaker Novartis winds down functions there up to mid-2022. The Basel-based pharma group is closing its API plant and relocating a global services unit’s functions to other centers in Europe and Asia.

In late 2019, Novartis told workers that up to 320 jobs out of an original 550-strong workforce could be eliminated, including 240 in the API unit and 80 in the service center. Earlier this year, however, the pharma giant announced that 100 jobs would be saved as Swiss multinational SGS drugs certification group had agreed to take over the site’s International Service Laboratory (ISL), which provides analytical services for pharmaceutical products and substances.

Under its ownership, SGS said ISL, as a “strategic component” of its global life science laboratories network, will continue to provide drug substance quality control testing and support Novartis’ major manufacturing operations.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist