2005: Europe’s largest medicines biotechnology facilities open: Pfizer Grange Castle, Dublin

Nominated by: Pfizer 

Organisations in nomination: Pfizer

The Pfizer Grange Castle Biotechnology facility commenced construction in 2000 and was licensed and officially opened in 2005.  It was the first mammalian cell culture facility in Ireland1, and at >1 million square feet, one of the largest integrated biotech facilities in the world.  It fulfilled the need for Enbrel® biological drug substance production capacity and set the stage for rapid growth of the biotech industry in Ireland in the years that followed.

The establishment and success of the Grange Castle facility influenced other companies to set up biotech facilities in Ireland, rendering the country a significant hub for biotech manufacturing1.  It also influenced the Irish government in establishing the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT).  In the years following 2005, the Grange Castle site was chosen to manufacture of one of the world’s most significant vaccines, Prevenar®/Prevnar 13® (for prevention of pneumococcal infections), both drug substance and drug product. In 2021, the site was selected for the manufacture of mRNA-platform drug substances, such as Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.