Posted Okt 3, 2017

At LSC we specialise only in Life Sciences and always keep up to date with leading news, projects and all that’s going on in the industry. As the sector sees continued rapid growth it’s easy to miss some of the major announcements. To make things easier and to ensure you too are well informed we’ve selected and summarized this month’s top Irish Life Science news stories below.

Zoetis purchases former MSD pharma plant in Rathdrum, Wicklow.
MSD officially closed the doors of it’s Rathdrum facility in December 2016, resulting in a loss of 270 jobs. Following the closure there were many questions over who would fill the vacant state-of-the-art facility – finally we have the answer as US-based company Zoetis, the world’s largest manufacturer of animal medicines and vaccines has confirmed their acquisition of the plant. Zoetis currently operates two other sites in Dublin and Offaly employing approx. 75 people. How many jobs will be created from this move is yet to be confirmed but in a statement Zoetis confirmed they will gradually phase in operations at the site later this year and the facility will play a vital role in the company’s global manufacturing and supply network. Click here to read more.

First Gene Therapy Treatment approved for release by FDA
Novartis have been approved to market their new cancer Gene Therapy treatment (KYMRIAH) in the United States of America by the US FDA. This marks a significant step forward for the Gene therapy market, as this is the first Gene or Cell Therapy treatment approved by the US FDA. There has been a lot of activity in the pharmaceutical market over the last 10 years, not just in therapy development, but also with new processes and technologies being developed to support the complex nature of delivery. This step up in complexity is reflected in the purchase price of the drug, which appears to be very high in comparison to conventional drugs. This doesn’t take into account the complexity and uniqueness of the therapy and it’s delivery. Follow the link to read an extract taken from the FDA press release on 30th August 2017, explaining some of the reasons for the treatment complexity and the associated price. Click here to read more.

EU declines to rank rival bids for agencies leaving Britain over Brexit
The European Commission has shied away from ranking which cities should host the London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) post Brexit. This now falls back into the political court of EU leaders to make a decision. Concerns have been expressed over the possible impact of disruptions to operations of the EMA recently saying it could take at least three years to recover fully. The importance of staff retention has again been emphasised in order to maintain essential services such as new drug approval and monitoring of side effects. For Ireland, it’s now over to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers to campaign on behalf of Dublin. Click here to read more.

New £7m Biodevices laboratory opens at Ulster University
A new advanced biomedical engineering laboratory has opened at Ulster University with the aim of offering expertise and state of the art equipment to assist companies to develop prototypes for the biomedical, engineering, electronic device and aerospace sectors. The laboratory is a strategic partnership between Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University, Randox Laboratories and Heartsine Technologies, who have come together to help businesses across the province develop. The facility will open up opportunities for stronger innovation by hosting a suite of equipment which will allow companies to quickly develop prototypes and medical devices for testing. Click here to read more.

European Biotech week
European Biotech week ran from September 25th – October 1st 2017. During the week we published lots of interesting information on the Biotech sector in Ireland and brought feedback from the events we attended.
In case you missed it check out our Biotech blogs below!

5 Megatrends in Biotechnology 
Breaking into Bio
Munster perfectly placed for the Biotech Boom!
LSC present in Madrid as part of Biotech week