• NIBRT, a global leader in biopharmaceutical manufacturing training and research, announces official opening of major extension project.
  • New facility will enhance Ireland’s global position in biopharma manufacturing and help attract new high value jobs in the new area of advanced therapeutics; which includes cell, gene and oligonucleotide-cased therapies and other novel therapeutic and vaccine modalities.
  • Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD will officially launches NIBRT’s new state-of-the-art advanced therapies research and training facility.
The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) today officially launched a new advanced therapies facility. This expansion will increase NIBRT’s capacity and capability to conduct manufacturing-focused research and training in advanced therapeutics. Advanced therapeutics is a broad category of innovative biological medicines that includes cell therapies, gene therapies, mRNA and DNA-based therapies and other novel biologic-based medicines and vaccines.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin attended today’s opening at NIBRT’s facility in Dublin. The new facility will accommodate around twenty-five new researchers and training staff and will serve new and existing NIBRT clients by providing research solutions to manufacturing challenges and training in the production of these highly innovative and complex medicines.
This €21 million project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland and incorporates 1,800 m2 of new space, including seven research laboratories and state of the art training suites, into the existing NIBRT facility that will be dedicated to advanced therapeutics. The facility also houses a €6.5M SFI/IDA co-funded research facility called CONCEPT, which is dedicated to the early-stage development of biologic therapies.

Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD said “This new Advanced Therapeutics manufacturing research and training facility, funded by the Irish Government, will further Ireland’s reputation as a global leader in biopharma manufacturing. It is important to continuously invest in this evolving area so that Ireland’s biopharma sector, with its highly skilled workforce, remains attractive to investors in this complex and innovative area of life saving medicines.”

Speaking at today’s announcement, NIBRT CEO Darrin Morrissey commented “The role of NIBRT is to help the growth and development of the biopharma manufacturing sector in Ireland by providing cutting edge training and research solutions. NIBRT intends to further enhance our current capability by becoming a leader in the pioneering and fast-evolving area of advanced therapies and vaccines. It is an immensely exciting time for NIBRT. With this expansion, we expect to deliver training for many more potential and newly-hired biopharma staff, as well as considerable growth in our research activities. This has the potential to rapidly enhance Ireland’s standing as a location of choice for advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing.”

The Irish biopharma industry continues to go from strength-to-strength, with over twenty new biologics manufacturing facilities developed across Ireland over the last decade and in excess of €12 billion in capital investment over that time. More than 45,000 people are now employed directly in the biopharma industry, and this represents a doubling of employment in high-expertise and high-value biopharma roles since 2014.

Advanced therapeutics, also known as Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), treat diseases at molecular level and represent a potential step-change in the personalisation of treatment and in the treatment outcomes. For example, cell therapy is a medical approach that aims to introduce new, healthy cells into a patient’s body to replace diseased or missing ones. While gene therapy treats or prevents disease by correcting the underlying genetic problem that causes the disease. Delivering these treatments to patients has the potential to offer tremendous therapeutic benefits, in some cases even a cure, in previously intractable illnesses like cancer, diabetes and neurological conditions. However, the manufacture of these highly sophisticated therapies is highly complex and producing them in a cost-effective and safe way presents unique challenges.

The extension opening coincides with two other high-profile events at NIBRT this week. One highlight is the NIBRT Research Conference ‘Medicines of the Future 2024’ taking place on Friday 24th May. The event will feature an esteemed lineup of speakers, among them Dame Professor Sarah Gilbert from Oxford University, who led the team responsible for developing one of the vaccines that were pivotal in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Simultaneously, NIBRT is hosting the Global Partner Summit. This annual two-day event brings together current and prospective members of the NIBRT Global Partner Training Programme. This NIBRT-led international alliance draws together training and education organisations from around the world including Canada, South Korea, USA and Senegal.  The programme addresses the global shortage of skilled biopharma professionals by licensing NIBRT’s expertise, qualified organisations utilise biopharma training and education curriculum that has been created in Ireland by NIBRT to build biopharma capabilities in their regions. For more information on the NIBRT Global Partner Programme click here.

Michael Lohan, CEO IDA Ireland said: “Ireland’s thriving biopharma sector, coupled with its abundant talent pool and dynamic business ecosystem, underscores our appeal as a premier destination for this investment. Congratulations to NIBRT on the opening of their new facility, which further strengthens Ireland’s position as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.”
More information on NIBRT’s advanced therapeutic-related services and programmes can be located here.