Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies in Wales
There are over 360 life science companies operating throughout Wales.
In our interactive map, we specifically detail pharma and med device manufacturing sites across the country.
Click here to see the interactive map.
And now let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest life science companies manufacturing in Wales…
Wockhardt UK manufactures and supplies generic and branded medicines – they currently have over 250 product lines.
The company has its head office in Wrexham, North Wales. This site is also the home of their sterile injectable manufacturing facility, operating as CP Pharmaceuticals. This facility is approved by the MHRA as well as other global regulatory bodies.
The CP Pharmaceuticals site is a high-tech 612,000 square-foot manufacturing facility that employs over 400 people.
Products manufactured at the site include insulin for diabetes, heparin for anticoagulation and pain management – and take many forms including cartridges, vials, and ampoules.
Most recently, the site has been involved with fill-finish activities for the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
Fill-finish is the final step in vaccine manufacture, where the vaccine is put into vials or syringes, and the final product is inspected before being packaged for distribution. The vaccines manufactured here are solely for use within the UK, and almost all of the vaccine supply is processed through this site.
In the video below, you can see inside the plant and hear from Alice Kan, an Engineer and Vaccine Programme Manager at the Wrexham site:
The company was initially awarded a contract from the UK government that reserved one fill-finish line for 18-months. This was later extended to 24-months, meaning that the site will continue that work through to August 2022. This contract extension led to the creation of 40 new jobs.
Check out this short video from BBC Breakfast about the company’s current COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing activities.
Ipsen’s presence in the UK began in 1981 and the country is now one of the company’s three “core operating hubs” alongside Boston, USA and Paris, France. There are three sites across the UK.
The Wrexham site is a state-of-art biologics development and manufacturing campus employing around 400 people – making it the town’s 3rd largest employer. There are a variety of activities carried out here including development, manufacturing, and fill-finish. It is also home to their global specialised toxin production.
It is also the company’s first site to use 100% renewable power and in 2018 it was awarded the Bronze Medallion from the prestigious Shingo Prize Awards (the “world’s highest standard for organizational excellence”).
The company has invested a significant amount in the facilities here and have already announced plans for further expansion of this facility by 2025, backed by another £150m investment. It is expected that these plans will increase employment at the site to over 600, and will support the production and export of vials across the world.
Check out the video in the tweet below for more information about the company’s ongoing investment plans.
In May 2011, Thermo Fisher Scientific – one of the world’s largest healthcare companies – acquired Sterilin Ltd, a “leading provider of single-use plastic products serving the microbiology, life sciences and clinical markets”. The company is headquartered in Newport, South Wales and employs approximately 270 people at their 140,000-square-foot facility.
The site manufactures products such as disposable plastics (including petri dishes, sample containers, and pipettes), Iwaki tissue culture plastics, packaging products, and silicon devices. They also offer custom manufacturing.
BBI first began in 1986 after John Chandler of Cardiff University developed and manufactured gold nanoparticles for the first time and supplied them to the electron microscopy industry.
In the years since, the company has added to its product line and is now a “leading expert in immunoassay development and manufacturing services”, providing a wide range of products to diagnostic companies around the world.
In 2018, the company opened their £14m global headquarters in Crumlin, after investment support of £1.8m from the Welsh government. At the same time, the company consolidated manufacturing and development from sites around the UK, to the state-of-the-art Crumlin facility.
Check out this short video from the BBC, filmed at the time of the announcement of the new jobs brought to the area with that investment.
Activities at the Welsh site now include enzyme production, gold nanoparticle manufacturing, conjugation, and lateral flow development and manufacturing.
Most recently, the facility has also been working as part of a UK government consortium to develop and manufacture COVID-19 point of care antibody testing. This brought a range of new roles to the site, to support expected high volume production.
In 2020, the company was shortlisted for “Manufacturer of the Year” and in the “Medical Life Sciences and Healthcare” awards at the Insider Media “Made in Wales Awards”. They also featured in “Insiders Top 100 Manufacturers” in Wales.
The Welsh-born company now have manufacturing sites on three continents, and are seen as a leading supplier of biological raw materials. Their glucose oxidase is used in over 5 billion blood glucose monitoring test strips every year.
PCI Pharma Services provides “a comprehensive range of pharmaceutical services from the earliest stages of development through to commercial launch and ongoing supply”.
- Drug development and manufacturing
- Clinical trial services
- Commercial packaging technology
The company has two sites in Wales – a manufacturing and development site in Tredegar that employs around 440 people, and a packaging site in Bridgend.
Since opening its Tredegar facility in 2013, the company has made continued investment and upgrades to the flagship manufacturing site.
In July 2020, the company had plans approved for a £9m expansion of the Tredegar drug development and manufacturing site, that is expected to double the site’s capacity and bring between 50 and 100 new jobs. The company believes it can recruit locally to fill these new vacancies, and the project is expected to be finished by the end of 2021.