Multi million pound drug research centre opens in Larne

Economy Minister Nigel Dodds today officially opened a new £5million drug delivery research facility in Larne.

The Warner Chilcott Centre of Excellence in Novel Oral Dosage Forms will undertake leading edge research into innovative oral drug delivery technologies for the development of new and improved medicines. It will be the first facility of this type in Northern Ireland.

The project, which is expected to create 14 new R&D graduate and post graduate research positions, has been offered over £1.75million of support by Invest Northern Ireland through its Centres of Excellence programme – with EU support under the NI Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said: “Developments in health and social care, are not only creating opportunities to relieve illness and injury, but are also providing opportunities for businesses to gain competitive advantage in international markets.

“With a clear relationship between R&D and productivity growth, Warner Chilcott’s new centre will further enhance the local research infrastructure and add value to the local economy.

“Indeed one of the key targets in the draft Programme for Government, which was proposed in October last year, is to halve NI’s private sector productivity gap with the UK. Such a major investment in R&D will bring us a step closer to achieving this aim.”

Dr Claire Gilligan, Vice President, Operations for the Larne Site added: “Dosage form development is an increasingly complex and technically challenging area within the global pharmaceutical industry. This specialised Centre will significantly increase our R&D capabilities.”

Mr Lee Cross, Senior Vice President, Technical Operations based in the US and attending the opening said “Warner Chilcott places great importance on its Larne facility. This new centre will complement our existing R&D activities and will enable us to develop new medicines with a competitive edge.”