BioMarin acquires Cork-based manufacturing plant from Pfizer for $48.5 million
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


NOVATO, Calif.óBioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. and Pfizer have entered into a definitive agreement by which BioMarin will acquire a bulk biologics manufacturing plant from Pfizer, based in Shanbally, Cork, Ireland. BioMarin will be purchasing the plant for $48.5 million, about a fifth of what it would cost for the company to build and validate a new facility. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011, pending the transfer of the Irish EPA license.  
"The new plant in Shanbally greatly expands our manufacturing capacity to accommodate our growing commercial portfolio and advancing clinical programs," said Jean-Jacques Bienaime, Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin, in a press release about the deal. "Our recently expanded manufacturing facility in Novato, California is on track to receive approval by the end of 2011 and can support approximately $1.0 billion in revenue. We believe that additional manufacturing capabilities beyond our current resources will be needed to support anticipated peak sales for GALNS, PEG-PAL for PKU, BMN 701 for Pompe disease, BMN 111 for achondroplasia, if they continue to progress to approval, and our other preclinical programs."  
The plant was completed and validated in 2009, a 133,000-square foot facility built on 10 acres. It received approval from the Irish Medicines Board in 2010. BioMarin plans to have the plant occupied in a phased transition, with some manufacturing activities tied to results of the company's Phase III clinical study for N-acetylgalactosamine 6-sulfatase (GALNS) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA (MPS IVA, also known as Morquio A Syndrome). The company anticipates maintenance expenses of about $4 million a year, and expects the facility to be licensed for GALNS production by 2015. Bienaime noted that the facility "diversifies our manufacturing risk and provides us with an attractive business environment."
" The facility is state-of-the-art, utilizing disposable technology and flexibly designed and will allow us to run either fed batch or perfusion processes," said Bienaime. "This gives us tremendous latitude for the types of products that can be produced at the plant and allows us to focus efforts on the technical transfer of our next commercial product into the facility."
In a press release about the deal, Barry O'Leary, Chief Executive of the Irish Investment and Development Agency (IDA Ireland), called the acquisition "a strategically important development for BioMarin," as it marks the first of BioMarin's internal production activities to be based outside the U.S. O'Leary noted that this acquisition follows the establishment of "an international supply chain and logistics presence in Dublin earlier this year," and added that "it is hoped that this investment will create over 100 high quality jobs in the next five years."
"I am delighted to welcome BioMarin, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, to Ireland and look forward to working closely with the company as it develops its operations here," O'Leary said.
BioMarin specializes in the development and commercialization of biopaharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. The company's product portfolio includes drugs for the treatment of mucopoysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI), mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), phenylketonuria (PKU) and Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome. BioMarin also have several product candidates in its pipeline, in Phases I to III, for the treatment of MPS IVA, LEMS, PKU, Pompe disease and genetically defined cancers.
Code: E06231101

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