The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), an Irish sovereign development fund, WuXi NextCODE, the emerging global standard platform for genomics, and Irish life sciences company Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI), today announced details of a $400 million (€350M) investment programme aimed at making Ireland an important hub for genomics research and development of new disease treatments and cures.
Under the initiative, GMI will become a subsidiary of WuXi NextCODE, which serves as the technology engine for the leading population genomics efforts in Europe, the US and Asia.
This will create up to 600 high-value jobs over five years and will position GMI as the cornerstone for a Silicon Docks-modelled International Centre for Advanced Life Sciences (ICALS). Under the terms of the investment, $225 million (€197M) will be committed to GMI in the near term increasing to $400 million in line with the achievement of milestones as GMI expands and an ICALS develops in the medium term.
Alongside ISIF, who are investing $70 million, major Silicon Valley and sovereign wealth funds and other global investors will also invest in the initiative through WuXi NextCODE and GMI. These include:
ARCH Venture Partners
The launch investment will be focused on the expansion of GMI to undertake one of the world’s largest whole genome sequencing programmes. The programme will target participation from 400,000 volunteers, or one in every ten people in Ireland, including patients with a range of common and rare diseases. This will help to deliver healthcare benefits to Irish patients and create a unique platform for research and discovery of new precision medicines for the treatment of life-limiting conditions which currently have no cure.
Commenting on the project, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said, "GMI is a real Irish life sciences success story. In just three years since their founding they have proven their capacity to deliver and to grow and, in partnership with the State’s Strategic Investment Fund, are now poised for a further exciting period of expansion. GMI’s success is a reflection on the wider success of Ireland as a location for the life sciences industry for more than 50 years. Twenty-four of the world’s largest pharma and biotech companies are located here, creating valuable employment and contributing to our economic success."
He added, "As a country, we have continuously worked to attract and retain investment from the life sciences sector and we are now positioning for the next wave of knowledge-driven innovation being led by the genomics industry and the economic benefits that will bring. With this partnership between GMI, ISIF and WuXi NextCODE we are creating an ecosystem of expertise in advanced life sciences right here in Ireland. That, in turn, will ultimately deliver better health and wellness management to people and patients in Ireland and turn the advances we make here into benefits for people around the world."