There is disappointment in Cork with the news that US company Sangart, which planned to build a new biopharma facility in Carrigtwohill, employing at least 250 people, has wound-up and is set to be sold off.
The San Diego company had chosen Carrigtwohill as the location for its facility for a cutting-edge new blood product called MP4OX, which supplies oxygen to vital organs. It was hoped the product could increase the chances of survival for people who suffer significant blood loss.
Planning permission had already been granted for the facility and it was hoped construction would begin next year, requiring 125 workers, with the site up and running in 2015 employing at least 200 people.
However in a major blow for both the company and Carrigtwohill, results from medical trials on MP4OX did not meet the targets they were expecting.
The news has brought back memories of Amgen who had also proposed to build a major pharma facility in Carrigtwohill, employing hundreds of people, but later withdrew their plans.
Sangart is led by Cork native Brian O’Callaghan from Douglas. Speaking to the Evening Echo he said they were very upset and disappointed with the results of the trials and have informed the IDA and members of the Carrigtwohill community that the project as envisaged will not now go ahead.
“As a result of the trials we took the responsible decision to initiate an orderly exit which involved looking after all creditors and not leaving any casualties behind.
“Unfortunately we are not the first and won’t be the last biopharmaceutical company to suffer a disappointment like this.
“After speaking with our own staff in San Diego the first people we contacted was the IDA and the local organisations in Carrigtwohill given the huge support they had provided us.”
Mr O’Callaghan said they would be writing a letter explaining their regret and disappointment in the Carrigtwohill Christmas newsletter and to thank the local community for their support.
While it was initially planned to make an orderly wind up of Sangart Mr O’Callaghan said a company has stepped in to buy the assets of Sangart but it is not yet known whether they intend to proceed with the MP4OX product.