Invest Northern Ireland Backs Major Expansion By Larne Pharmaceuticals Company

Following acquisition of the Ivex Pharmaceuticals business in May 2004, the new management, Gambro BCT of Lakewood, Colorado, is investing £7 million over the next 3 years, at the Gambro Northern Ireland facilities in Larne.

The investment, which is backed by Invest Northern Ireland, will create 86 new jobs at the company and by enhancing Gambro NI’s research and development, as well as operational capabilities, will position the company to exploit new market and product opportunities while continuing to trade under its former name Ivex Pharmaceuticals.

The investment was announced by Leslie Morrison, chief executive of Invest NI, which is contributing £840,000 to the project. Mr Morrison said: “This investment, which by 2007 will be contributing approximately £2 million annually in additional salaries and wages to the local economy, is great news for Ivex and for the Larne area. Ivex specialises in sterile solutions for pharmaceutical and medical device companies and expects to double its sales in this sector over the next three years.  

“The investment positions the company for strong growth in the burgeoning international healthcare sector and in particular will equip it to deliver a crucial capability in respect to Gambro BCT’s exciting new automated whole blood processing technology.

“The investment is another example of the confidence that international companies have in Northern Ireland. Increasingly we are seeing this kind of strategic investment by companies that have recognised the quality, reliability and capability of the NI workforce and the willingness and flexibility of innovative local management.”   

Mr Gary Heath, vice president, Operations of Gambro BCT and director of Gambro NI, said: “The Gambro Larne facility is highly regarded within the Gambro Group and elsewhere, and it is testament to the company’s well deserved reputation that we have decided to continue to trade under the Ivex name.

“This investment will give us the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of Ivex’s capabilities and I am confident that by capitalising on the company’s specialist skills and actively pursuing new business opportunities we will secure further growth for the company,” he continued.