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Why Ireland for WuXi Biologics

Headquartered in Wuxi City, China, WuXi Biologics has pioneered the commercial biomanufacturing of biologics-based medicines, which uses cells rather than chemicals to develop innovative diagnostics and therapies to change how diseases are prevented and treated. The Hong Kong-listed global company offers multinational pharma and biotech companies services designed to help shorten the discovery and development time and lower the cost of biologics. 

Greenfield site, ready to go

In 2018, WuXi Biologics invested €325 million in a new biologics drug substance manufacturing facility on a 26-hectare greenfield site in Dundalk, County Louth, supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland. 

Part of the reason why the company chose Ireland as its international base is because the country already hosts many of the leading global names in the pharmaceutical industry, many of which are WuXi Biologics customers. Another key factor in securing the investment was the existence of an IDA-owned site near Dundalk which had already secured planning permission for a biotechnology campus, saving 12 months in the planning process.

The Irish facility also happens to be geographically well placed, as the North American market is just five hours behind, central Europe is one hour ahead, and mainland China is seven hours ahead. 

Ireland chosen as first site outside China

This ‘factory of the future’ facility is based on WuXi Biologics’ pioneering multiple single-use bioreactors. The site is designed to manufacture around the clock using continuous bioprocessing, a next-generation manufacturing technology to be first implemented globally in this campus. The site is also able to change product lines rapidly in response to customer needs. It is the company’s first site outside of China. Over the following five years as the site geared up to enter full production, it created 400 new jobs. 

A year after that announcement, WuXi Vaccines, a subsidiary company, revealed plans for a $240 million vaccine production facility on the same campus, creating 200 additional new jobs over five years.

How Ireland helps WuXi Biologics

  • Ireland chosen for Chinese pioneer’s first international site 
  • €325 million invested in biologics drug substance manufacturing facility 
  • 12 months saved in planning process thanks to existing IDA Ireland site 
  • Irish location is geographically suited to global operations

WuXi Biologics’ biopharma manufacturing site in Dundalk
WuXi Biologics’ biopharma manufacturing site in Dundalk
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We are committed to Ireland and will work with all local partners to build this state-of-art next generation biomanufacturing facility as a showcase to the global biotech community

Dr Chris Chen
CEO, WuXi Biologics
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