Irish-owned drug developers APC and VLE to create 300 jobs at new Dublin campus

09 January 2024

APC and VLE Therapeutics, two Irish-owned drug-development companies, are to create 300 jobs on foot of a €100m expansion in Dublin.

The investment will fund a new 130,000 sq ft ‘medicine accelerator’ campus in Cherrywood, south Dublin, and will double the companies’ combined workforce.

The two firms claim they are the largest employer of research and development scientists in the Irish pharmaceutical sector, and say their new combined team will number more than 600 ­scientists, digital experts and ­manufacturing professionals.

The two Enterprise Ireland-supported firms partner with leading pharma companies in order to bring lifesaving medicines to market faster, and at lower cost.

They are currently working on more than 35 treatments for illnesses including cancer, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s, HIV and more.

Dr Mark Barrett, the chief executive officer and co-founder, said the investment solidifies the firms’ “confidence in the biopharma ecosystem in Ireland as a global hub”.

“This new expansion will further strengthen our competitiveness through increased integration of the latest ­developments in sustainability, artificial intelligence, and breakthrough science,” he said.

“It will enable our team to reimagine and transform medicine development and manufacture.”

APC was founded in 2011 by Dr Barrett and Professor Brian Glennon of the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering in Dublin with a view to streamlining the drug research and development process.

VLE was founded in 2021 by APC’s shareholders and is focused on manufacturing.

The expansion is being supported by Enterprise Ireland, the state development agency for home-grown firms, which is to announce its 2023 results this morning.

Leo Clancy, the Enterprise Ireland chief executive, said the new campus would “further enhance Ireland’s global reputation as a leader in the life-­sciences sector”.

Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney said the new campus “demonstrates the capacity of Irish-owned businesses to become world leaders in their field”.

He added: “The Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is committed to scaling and building globally impactful Irish multinationals that will help drive the Irish economy forward and create high value jobs at home.”

The announcement comes just a few weeks after IDA Ireland – Enterprise Ireland’s counterpart for foreign investment – reported a small increase in medical and pharmaceutical jobs last year, despite a slowdown in exports from the sector.

IDA chief executive Michael Lohan and Mr Coveney have both predicted further jobs growth in 2024 thanks to a small increase in foreign investment last year.

Source: Independent