OPKO Health Expansion to Create 200 Jobs in Waterford21 Apr
WATERFORD, Ireland and MIAMI (April 21, 2016) – OPKO Health Inc. (NYSE: OPK), a diversified healthcare company, today announced plans to create 200 highly skilled jobs over the next five years through expanding the EirGen Pharma facility in Westside Business Park in Waterford and establishing a new Product Development Centre in the Waterford Business and Technology Park. The company is locating in the IDA’s newly built Advanced Technology Building (ATB) on the park.
The construction of 11 ATBs around the country forms part of the Government’s €250 million Regional Jobs Plan, and today’s announcement is supported by the Department of Jobs through IDA Ireland.
EirGen Pharma was established in 2005 by two former IVAX Pharmaceuticals executives, Patsy Carney and Tom Brennan. EirGen focuses on the development and commercial supply of specialised oncology products for global markets. EirGen was acquired by OPKO Health Inc. in May 2015. OPKO’s planned growth of EirGen’s presence in Waterford over the next five years involves the expansion of EirGen’s existing manufacturing facility in Westside Business Park and the establishment of the R&D Centre with manufacturing capabilities for new sterile fill finish and dry powder inhalation products.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Richard Bruton said: “At the very heart of our jobs plans is ensuring that we spread the benefits of the employment recovery to cities, towns and villages in every part of the country. The South East suffered particularly badly from the crash and we placed a particular focus on this region as part of our plans since taking office. It is hugely encouraging that the South East is now enjoying the fastest rate of jobs growth in the country. Today’s announcement that the first Waterford ATB will be occupied by a top-class company like EirGen, with the creation of 200 much-needed new jobs for the city, is a great boost. I wish Patsy and Tom and all the team every success with this project.”
Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and CEO of OPKO Health, said: “Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for EirGen Pharma and this investment underpins our strategy to establish Ireland as a Centre of Excellence for R&D and supply chain activities. We appreciate IDA’s efforts to create an attractive business environment for companies like ours, and we look forward to expanding our workforce by drawing upon the region’s highly skilled labour pool.”
CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said: “I welcome this expansion by EirGen Pharma, which will add significantly to the growing life sciences cluster in the South East. It is great news that a company that was founded locally is now creating 200 jobs in a key regional location, especially as it is going into the first ATB built in Waterford. It is proof that IDA’s focus on bringing investments to regional locations is working and the strategy of building ATBs in support of that aim is proving successful.”
About OPKO Health, Inc.
OPKO Health, Inc. is a diversified healthcare company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets. Our diagnostics business includes Bio-Reference Laboratories, the third-largest clinical laboratory in the U.S. with a core genetic testing business and a 420-person sales force to drive growth and leverage new products, including the 4Kscore® prostate cancer test and the Claros®1 in-office immunoassay platform. Our pharmaceutical business features Rayaldee™, a treatment for SHPT in stage 3-4 CKD patients with vitamin D insufficiency (response to FDA CRL underway) and VARUBI™ for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (oral formulation launched by partner Tesaro, IV formulation in Phase 3). Our biologics business includes hGH-CTP, a once-weekly human growth hormone injection (in Phase 3 and partnered with Pfizer), and a long-acting Factor VIIa drug for hemophilia (in Phase 2a). We also have production and distribution assets worldwide, multiple strategic investments and an active business development strategy. More information is available at www.opko.com.
About EirGen Pharma
EirGen Pharma was established in 2005 by former executives of IVAX Pharmaceuticals, Patsy Carney and Tom Brennan, now CEO and CTO, respectively. EirGen specialises in the development, registration and commercial supply of specialised pharmaceutical products that are mainly used in cancer treatment. EirGen’s key markets currently are the EU, U.S., Japan and the Middle East. The company is fully U.S. FDA, EMA and Saudi FDA approved. EirGen was acquired by OPKO Health Inc. in 2015.