Taoiseach officially unveils new Shannon gene therapy facility

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TAOISEACH Micheál Martin visited Shannon on Friday to officially unveil the MeiraGTx Holdings Gene Therapy Manufacturing Facility.

The facility, online since earlier this year and stretching over 150,000 square feet, is the first commercial-scale gene therapy manufacturing site in Ireland.

It is set to employ 100 people in its current phase, with the potential for that to increase to over 300, and has been sited in Shannon due to its proximity to a number of world-class bioscience institutions, as well as partner companies in the healthcare sector.

The Taoiseach said on Friday: “Today is an important day for MeiraGTx in Ireland, as we mark the formal unveiling of their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Great strides are being made in the area of gene therapy and I’ve no doubt that these new facilities will allow MeiraGTx to remain at the forefront of that development. Today’s unveiling is testament to the company’s continued commitment to Shannon and the Mid West and speaks to the considerable skills and ability of the Irish workforce.”

The formal unveiling marks a critical step in MeiraGTx’s mission to develop and deliver potentially curative treatments for patients living with serious diseases. The Shannon site allows MeiraGTx to accelerate the development and delivery of gene therapy treatments to patients facing a wide range of both genetic and non-hereditary disorders – ranging from inherited vision loss, salivary-gland conditions, and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, to potentially diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. 

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MeiraGTx says it is proud to have collaborated with The University of Limerick and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) on skills and capability development and looks forward to building ever-closer relationships with other leading institutions across Ireland.

Alexandria Forbes, President and Chief Executive Officer of MeiraGTx, commented: “MeiraGTx’s Shannon facility is unique, not only in Ireland but globally, as it streamlines gene therapy development, testing and manufacturing capabilities together in-house. This significantly reduces the time to patients for advanced therapeutic products, with months or potentially years saved. Along with our other facilities in New York, London and Amsterdam, the Shannon site will scale up and manufacture a broad range of gene therapies for people living with a variety of serious conditions.” 

CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan said:  “In 2020, MeiraGTx announced its intention to locate this globally unique GMP manufacturing facility in Shannon. So, it’s terrific that two years later we can celebrate this official unveiling. IDA Ireland remains committed to winning jobs and investments across the country, and MeiraGTx’s decision to locate in the Mid West demonstrates the region’s reputation as a key location for the next generation of biopharmaceutical manufacturers.”