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Micheál Martin

Taoiseach comes to Shannon for MeiraGTx opening

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AN Taoiseach Micheál Martin was in Shannon today for the official opening of MeiraGTx Holdings new 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 currently employs around 100, but there is potential for that to increase to 300.

The MeiraGTx site contains three facilities, one built to be flexible and scalable for viral vector production for clinical and commercial supply, in addition, there is a facility to manufacture plasmid DNA – the critical starting material for producing gene therapy products – and thirdly, a Quality Control (QC) hub performing advanced biochemical quality control testing for MeiraGTx clinical and commercial programmes.

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.

The facility will also allow MeiraGTx the ability to provide manufacturing services to potential collaborators, helping to lessen the impact of industry-wide shortages of vital elements such as plasmid DNA and quality control services.

The Taoiseach praised MeiraGTx and the work it does. “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.”

Alexandria Forbes, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MeiraGTx, said: “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.”

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said the decision of the company to locate in Clare shows the strengths of the region. ““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.”

Owen Ryan
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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.