Irish pharma industry receives €40 million investment
Limerick | 02 July 2013

Ireland is pumping €40 million into pharmaceutical research and development as the country looks to position itself as a hub for the industry.

The Synthesis & Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) at the University of Limerick will receive €30 million from Ireland’s government through its department for jobs, enterprise and innovation.

The other €10 million will come from 17 key industry partners in the pharmaceutical industry.

Among the partners are Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Merck, Roche and Bristol Meyers Squibb.

Richard Bruton, Ireland’s jobs, enterprise and innovation minister, said: “The importance of continued investment in excellent science to Ireland’s ongoing and future economic development cannot be understated.”

“A central part of this government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to ensure that scientific research is better targeted at turning the good ideas of our talented researchers into good products and high quality jobs. Investments in science, like today’s commitment to the SSPC, are key to supporting dynamic Irish companies, attracting and developing multinational investment, and ultimately creating the jobs we need.”

The pharmaceutical sector is one of the largest and most successful industries in Ireland responsible for more than €50 billion in exports annually, according to the country’s finance minister, Michael Noonan.

“The SSPC will strengthen the position of the University of Limerick as a leader in the area of pharmaceutical manufacturing and will attract the world’s best and brightest research talent to this great city and county.”

With the investment, the SSPC will aim to better understand mechanisms, control processes and predict outcomes for the efficient and environmentally sustainable production of safe medicines.

Ireland’s department for jobs, enterprise and innovation said that the SSPC will use a ‘molecule-to-medicine’ approach that encompasses chemical synthesis, crystal engineering, and drug production and manufacture.

“Ultimately, the economic objective of the SSPC research is to help the pharmaceutical sector to migrate towards more R&D activities, in addition to the current manufacturing operations. Such R&D activities generally provide more value-add to the corporations and help cement the pharmaceutical operations in Ireland.”

“Towards this end, the centre will provide highly-trained scientists and engineers to the sector, as well as a sophisticated knowledge exchange to increase the R&D capability of the Irish-based pharmaceutical companies. The research will help reduce manufacturing costs and reduce environmental harmful chemicals.”

Author: Mark Dugdale

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