Minister English launches €5m Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre

Tackling challenges of cost-competitiveness and patent expiry will be key issues for the Centre

12th September 2014

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, today (Friday 12th September 2014) launched the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC). The State, through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, is investing €5M over the next 5 years in this industry-focussed Centre which will deliver advanced technology solutions to contemporary manufacturing issues currently challenging the Irish pharmaceutical sector.

Minister English (centre) launching the €5M Pharmaceutial Manufacturing Technology Centre in Cork today with Deirdre Glenn, Enterprise Ireland and Barry Heavey IDA Ireland where they got an insight on pharmaceutical manufacturing processes from Frank Madden M.D Crest Solutions, Cork (far right). The centre which is hosted at UL and already has 24 companies involved will help Irish and multinational companies tackle challenges facing the pharma industry including patent expiry and cost- competitiveness (12th September 2014).
Minister English (centre) launching the €5M Pharmaceutial Manufacturing Technology Centre in Cork today with Deirdre Glenn, Enterprise Ireland and Barry Heavey IDA Ireland where they got an insight on pharmaceutical manufacturing processes from Frank Madden M.D Crest Solutions, Cork (far right). The centre which is hosted at UL and already has 24 companies involved will help Irish and multinational companies tackle challenges facing the pharma industry including patent expiry and cost- competitiveness (12th September 2014).

PMTC is the latest of 15 state-supported Technology Centres established jointly by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. The centre will be headquartered at the University of Limerick (UL) and brings together 24 industry partners and 9 Higher Education Institutes who will deliver the research.

The aim of PMTC is to make Ireland the global hub of pharmaceutical process innovation and manufacturing and ultimately support an industry which directly employs over 25,000 people. Manufacturing cost competitiveness and patent expiry are among the two most critical issues which threaten the future of this industry which contributes over €40BN in annual Irish exports per annum.

Launching the centre, Minister English said: “The pharmaceutical industry is a very important provider of employment and growth in Ireland’s economy. This joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland to make the pharma industry more competitive and efficient is most welcome. The fact that the research agenda is defined and informed by the companies involving both Irish SMEs and multinationals gives strength to the industry’s effort to tackle challenges such as the patents cliff and manufacturing competitiveness.”

The industry consortium currently comprises a mix of indigenous multinational pharmaceutical companies and SME’s including: Alkermes, Allergan Pharmaceutical, Applied Process Consulting, Astellas, Bristol-Myers Squibb Swords, Crest Solutions, Eli Lilly, Gilead, GSK, Helsinn Birex, Innopharma Labs, Janssen, Label Art, Leo Pharma, Merck Sharp Dohme, Pfizer, Process Analytics, Roche, Servier, Sigmoid Pharma, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Techno-Path, Teva Pharmaceuticals and TopChem Pharma

Speaking on behalf of the 24 companies involved, Donal Coveney, MD of TopChem said “The major commercial impact for member companies will be the access to technology generated by the research team in the PMTC. The implementation of these technologies will lead to improved competitiveness, increased or retained employment and more secure future prospects for the companies involved”.

Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research, University of Limerick said:
“Ireland has one of the best reputations globally in pharmaceutical manufacturing and it’s important that we continue to support the sector so we attract further investment and retain existing investments. The PMTC provides companies with the opportunity to work together and harness academic expertise to address key manufacturing challenges they face. One specific research area is in process analytical technology which will help companies reduce cost and thus enhance competitiveness.”


ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Press Office:
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Tel. 01 631 2200
email: press.office@djei.ie


Notes for editors

About PMTC
The PMTC is one of 15 Technology Centres supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. PMTC is focussed on delivering knowledge based technology solutions to contemporary manufacturing issues and forms a key link between industry, government and HEIs. The vision of the PMTC is to make Ireland the global hub of pharmaceutical process innovation and manufacturing. For further information go to www.pmtc.ie


The Technology Centres programme
The Technology Centre programme is the national initiative to support industry-led research, development and innovation. A joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the Technology Centre programme focuses on identifying new sources of industrial growth and job creation in Ireland. More than 320 companies are already benefiting from the Technology Centre programme, delivering results in areas including cloud, analytics and learning technologies; manufacturing and materials; energy, food and health; financial services and business processes.

The technology centres are public-private research centres of excellence connecting Irish companies and multinationals with the higher education sector to collaborate on addressing challenges and opportunities in key sectors. The centres are collaborative entities established and informed by industry. They are resourced by highly-qualified researchers associated with research institutions who are empowered to undertake market focussed strategic R&D for the benefit of industry.
The research agenda is driven by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland client companies and leverages the strength of other previous academic research funding provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.

To view details of the 15 Technology Centres now established visit www.enterprise-ireland.com/technologycentres


University of Limerick
UL was chosen to host the PMTC because of its strong record in and commitment to cutting edge pharmaceutically relevant research. UL is also home to the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) which is funded by SFI and industry, and is a collaboration between 17 industry partners, 8 academic institutions and 12 international academic collaborators.

Through the Bernal Project, UL is undertaking a €52 million research initiative to build a multi-disciplinary team of world-leading scientists and engineers who will deliver solutions to change the face of the pharmaceutical manufacturing, modern materials, biomedical engineering and energy sectors. Of the 10 chairs being appointed, 5 will be of direct relevance to the PMTC, including: Chair in Pharmaceutical Powder Engineering; Chair in BioPharma Engineering; Chair in Crystal Engineering (pharmaceutical co-crystallisation); Chair in Microscopy & Imaging; and a Chair in Fluid Dynanics. For further information go to www.ul.ie