Female scientific researcher

APC investing €25m to develop Covid vaccines

Expanded Cherrywood manufacturing facility to create 120 jobs
Image: Stockfresh

10 June 2021

Irish pharmaceutical research and development company APC plans to invest €25 million and create 120 jobs through the formation of a global centre of excellence for vaccine and advanced therapeutic research and manufacturing.

As a global ‘medicine accelerator’, APC’s expanded facility will enable the rapid research and manufacture of vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, and other advanced therapeutics for rare diseases. It will provide supply chains nationally and across Europe with these vital medicines, positioning Ireland as a significant contributor on the international stage to the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines and other critical advanced therapeutics.

The company said €8 million of this investment would go towards the construction of an additional 12,000 sq. ft of laboratory space and associated research infrastructure at APC’s existing 60,000 sq. ft headquarters in Cherrywood, Dublin.




The expansion, which will be fully operational by the end of June 2021, will add 50 new highly skilled jobs to the existing team of 140 people, with roles in chemistry, biology, chemical engineering, analytical sciences coming on stream immediately, along with other various professional pharmaceutical positions.

APC has also announced a €17 million investment in the creation of VLE Therapeutics Ltd. to focus on the manufacture of vaccines and advanced therapeutics, including cell and gene therapies. This will be the first Irish-owned facility expressly designed to provide Ireland and Europe with a local supply chain for these critical medicines. Stage one of VLE will have a new manufacturing facility in place by the end of 2021, with an annual full-scale capacity of up to 50 million vaccine doses. Up to 70 new jobs are planned as part of this investment across manufacturing operations, supply chain, engineering, QA / QC, and regulatory.

Stage one of VLE’s manufacturing capability will deliver a new bespoke 80,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility by the end of 2023. This facility will provide a world-class platform for the drug substance and drug product clinical and commercial manufacture of a wide range of vaccines and advanced therapeutics with dose capacity in the hundreds of millions.

Enterprise Ireland is supporting the investment in APC’s ‘Global Centre of Excellence for Advanced Therapeutic and Vaccine Research and Manufacture’. Through the Covid-19 Products Scheme, Enterprise Ireland has supported APC’s new research facility for the accelerated process development of vaccine candidates and new medicines. Enterprise Ireland is also providing strategic funding for APC’s sister company VLE to manufacture advanced therapeutics and vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines.

Established in 2011 by Dr Mark Barrett and Prof Brian Glennon, APC combines its platform technology, Achieve, BioAchieve and iAchieve, and its globally recognised research team, to accelerate how drug and vaccine manufacturing processes are researched and developed. APC works with pharmaceutical and biotech companies globally on this medicine acceleration mission, with 80% of its activities export focused. The business is the largest employer in Ireland of PhD qualified chemical engineers and one of the country’s largest employers of PhD-level scientists.

In 2020 APC, through the combination of IP and customers, spun out VLE Therapeutics to drive scientific and digital led manufacture of vaccines and advanced therapeutics. In addition to Covid-19 vaccine research and manufacture, APC is currently working on more than medicines for a variety of cancers, respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV at its HQ in Dublin.

“In development since July 2020, this €25 million investment is a culmination of our ambition for an Irish company to stand tall and contribute, on both the national and global stage, to the development and manufacture of Covid Vaccines and other critical advanced therapeutics,” said Dr Mark Barrett, group chief executive officer to APC and VLE. “Ireland is a global powerhouse for pharma manufacturing, and we believe our technological advancements can work hand-in-hand with this track record to accelerate the development and manufacture of these critical vaccines and advanced therapeutics for people in Ireland, Europe and around the world. We’re also delighted to have a strong longstanding partnership with Enterprise Ireland and their investment was integral to this entire project.”

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