Alexion investment enhances Athlone’s status as a major pharmaceutical hub

Local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan, was one of a number of dignitaries who welcomed the substantial investment by AstraZeneca to enhance the productivity status at Alexion in Monksland

Local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan, was one of a number of dignitaries who welcomed the substantial investment by AstraZeneca to enhance the productivity status at Alexion in Monksland

Athlone’s reputation as a pharmaceutical hub has been further enhanced with confirmation by AstraZeneca that the company will install new drug substance production equipment and warehousing facilities at its Alexion site in Monksland.

This development is a significant boost to Athlone, denoted a growth centre under the National Planning Framework 2040, as it continues to attract inward investment towards the ultimate goal of obtaining city status.

Welcoming the announcement, local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, noted that the announcement was a further vote of confidence in the Monksland site which will expand Alexion’s drug substance production capabilities in Athlone and is a boost to the reputation of the area as a key biopharmaceutical hub in the country.

“It is now important that we build on this expertise to attract further investment into our other local towns in the Midlands and South Roscommon regions.

“Alexion, which has become AstraZeneca’s Rare Disease division since last year, is focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions through the discovery, development, and commercialisation of life-changing medicines.

“Alexion focuses its research efforts on rare diseases around haematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders, cardiology, and ophthalmology. And sadly, in our immediate midst, we have some of the highest incidence of rare diseases in Europe.

“Some rare diseases are well known such as Cystic Fibrosis, Duchene Muscular Dystrophy and Huntingdon’s disease, it includes most cancers and all cancers affecting children. In Ireland approximately one in 12 people are, or at some stage in their lives will be affected by such a condition. This means that approximately 825,000 Irish people are impacted by a rare disease when family members, many of whom are carers, are included.

“So, this announcement, which is part of a €65 million investment in Athlone and Dublin, is not only a huge boost for the local economy but also an incredibly positive development it helping to manage and treat rare diseases many of which appear early in life, with sadly about 30% of children dying before their fifth birthday,” Deputy Naughten asserted.

Expressing similar sentiments, Mr Marc Dunover, Chief Executive Officer, Alexion, stated that the investment would support the continued growth of Alexion’s portfolio of medicines.

“We are delighted to be further investing in our facilities in Ireland, an increasingly critical global hub for AstraZeneca operations, to support the continued growth of Alexion’s portfolio of medicines and meet our needs for expansion. This investment will allow for new capabilities for AstraZeneca in Ireland and support our global ambition to accelerate the development and delivery of life-changing medicines for more people affected by rare diseases,” Mr Dunover remarked.

Local Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Deputy Robert Troy, acknowledged that the announcement was a further endorsement of the Midlands as a region in which to invest, work and live.

“This news further cements our nation’s reputation as a global centre of excellence for life sciences. I am particularly delighted to see continued investment in Athlone, and further endorses the Midlands as an excellent place to invest, work and live,” Deputy Troy commented.

Further lauding the announcement, local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan, noted that investment was “such a boost to the local area in Athlone and will translate into more jobs as well as the construction spin-offs”.

 

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