Zoetis Inc., the global animal health company, is expanding its manufacturing and development facility in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, which the company has said should significantly increase its capacity for producing veterinary monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).

These therapeutic biopharmaceuticals are the latest breakthroughs in animal medicine.

The announcement was welcomed by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, who said: “The decision of Zoetis to further extend its footprint here and expand its Tullamore facility is really fantastic news and a testament to the existing team.

“The midlands has a wealth of talent to draw from and I wish the company the very best with this latest development.”  

Expansion of Tullamore facility

The planned expansion of the existing Zoetis facility in Tullamore is expected to strengthen and diversify the Zoetis global manufacturing and supply network.

The company said that this will enable it to meet growing commercial demand and support future growth in veterinary biopharmaceuticals.

The current Tullamore site supports development and manufacturing services across all phases of biopharmaceutical development and commercialisation.

The expansion is planning, subject to approvals, to break ground in early 2022 and become fully operational by 2025.

Zoetis has said that the investment will potentially create 80-100 new jobs over the next three years, with some roles beginning to phase in later this year.

Currently, Zoetis employs approximately 90 highly skilled scientists and technicians at the Tullamore site, which became part of the Zoetis network when it was acquired from Nexvet Biopharma in 2017.

Conor O’Dea, site lead, who has managed the site for 20 years said: “This site has undergone significant investment and development since 2017. Zoetis invested in the site to scale our manufacturing process to meet demand and has grown the team accordingly.

“With the high concentration of biologic manufacturing sites in the area and the skilled Irish workforce, we have built a strong team with extensive experience in all aspects of biopharmaceuticals manufacture, process development, quality, engineering and supply chain – and we look forward to developing it further with this investment.

“The expansion will offer current and future employees tremendous experience and career opportunities.”

Regional investment

Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation​, Robert Troy, welcomed the announcement: “I am delighted that Zoetis is to expand its already impressive operation in Tullamore.

“This is a very welcome announcement for the local and wider midlands region and demonstrates that the midlands has the skills, talent, people, and connectivity that will enable companies like Zoetis to embed and grow its operations here.

“Regional job creation is a key priority of this government and by putting down deeper roots in the region, I’m sure Zoetis will generate substantial spin-off economic benefits to the region.”

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said: “This biotech facility, by the world’s leading veterinary medicines company, adds another globally established name to the significant and growing cluster of biopharma companies operating in Ireland, which sees substantial investment annually in biopharma R&D by IDA client companies.”

Building on current Zoetis operations

Roman Trawicki, Zoetis executive vice president and president, global manufacturing and supply added: “We’re proud to strengthen our presence in Tullamore. We have had great success with the current high-quality manufacturing site and the experienced workforce already operating there.

“This expansion will augment our manufacturing footprint and leverage existing expertise to further diversify our manufacturing network and increase capacity for monoclonal antibodies, an area of tremendous growth for Zoetis.”

The Tullamore expansion builds on Zoetis’ current operations in Ireland, which includes commercial offices and manufacturing sites, employing more than 450 people.

The company’s Cherrywood, Dublin office is the headquarters for its international commercial operations and global manufacturing and supply organisations, as well as the home of local commercial operations for Ireland.

In addition to Tullamore, Zoetis has two manufacturing sites in Ireland that play critical roles in its manufacturing network – Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow and Tallaght, Dublin.

Roy Geary, general manager, Zoetis Ireland concluded: “The expansion of Tullamore will support, not only our Irish veterinarians and livestock producers, but also our customers and partners in more than 100 countries around the world where we market our products.”