Irish Pharma firms operating and investing in the US

Pharma companies

The Ireland INC Index lists the top Irish companies operating and investing in the US. This week we take a look at the Pharma companies on the Index.



Adapt Pharma is a privately-held company founded by serial bio-tech investor Seamus Mulligan. Adapt Pharma markets the drug the nasal spray Narcan®  which is used for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose.

Adapt Pharma’s company headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland with U.S. headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania.


Aerogen have about 30 people working permanently overseas, with employees in Britain, Germany, France, China and US. The US accounts for about half its  business and in 2016 it added to our Chicago office with a second location in San Mateo, California.


Founded by Dr John McKeon, Allergy Standards is an independent global certification company which uses the expertise of their team to develop independent standards for testing a wide range of products to determine their relative suitability for asthmatics and individuals with allergies.

Allergy Standards Ltd was established in 2000 and has offices in Dublin, New York and Korea.


Employees in the US: 1,650

Sir Allen McClay formed Almac in 2002. It was born out of Galen Holdings Plc, which he had founded as Galen Ltd in 1968, and floated on the stock market in 1997, becoming Northern Ireland’s first £1bn company.

The Almac Group bought the API Manufacturing and Chemical Development, Clinical Trial Supply and Clinical Technologies businesses from Galen. Globally Almac, a major player in drug development, now employs close to 5,000 people, of which 1,650 are based in the US, around five locations : Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Audubon, Souderton, and Lansdale, PA.


A global leader in animal health, Bimeda has established markets in more than 70 countries worldwide and has R&D, manufacturing and distribution capabilities across Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. 

Bimeda employs almost 800 employees worldwide with US headquarters are based in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. The Bimeda US product portfolio focuses on five key categories: ecto- and endo-parasiticides, water soluble antimicrobial, injectables and nutritional products.


Bio-Medical Research have been creating ground-breaking EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) technology for over 50 years. Galway, ‘The City of the Tribes’ is home to Bio-Medical Research, with offices and employees located in the US, France, Hong Kong, UK and Singapore.


Co Louth-based medtech firm Diaceutics is aiming to hit revenues of $40 million by 2020 and recently raised €4.3 million through a mix of debt and equity financing to fund its expansion.

The company works with 31 out of the top 35 pharmaceutical companies to integrate diagnostic testing into their treatment pathways.

Based in the Regional Development Centre on the campus of the Institute of Technology in Dundalk, Co Louth, it has offices in 17 jurisdictions including New Jersey in the US, and currently employs 60 people globally, but expects headcount to reach up to 100 by the end of 2018.


Employees in the US: 4,600

Since its foundation in Dublin in 1990, Icon has grown to become a global leader in clinical research and provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.

From a small team of 5 people in 1990, ICON has grown to employ over 13,380 people across 97 locations in 38 countries, through a mixture of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. ICON opened its first US office in Philadelphia in 1992, and began trading on the Nasdaq exchange in 1998. Icon now employs 4,600 in the US.


Founded in 2015, Iterum Therapeutics Limited is a Dublin-headquartered clinical-stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing differentiated anti-infectives.

These products are aimed at combatting the global crisis of multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogens to significantly improve the lives of people affected by serious and life-threatening diseases around the world. Its US bases are located in Connecticut and Chicago.


Irish-founded medtech firm Lincor Solutions was established in 2003 and are the global leader in the development and delivery of point of care education, communication and entertainment technology to hospital patients.

LINC Technology is used in over 130 hospitals around the world and the company has offices in the US, Canada, France, Austria and Ireland.


Shorla Pharma is a female-led healthcare company that develops innovative, high barrier to entry pharmaceutical therapies with a particular interest in women’s and paediatric health.

Shorla Pharma were part of the 2018 Irish delegation to the SelectUSA investment summit held in Washington DC.


Trinity Biotech was founded in 1992 and specialises in the development, manufacture and marketing of diagnostic test kits. A combination of organic growth and an acquisition-led strategy has seen the company assemble an portfolio of over 400 products to date.

Headquartered in Bray, Co Wicklow, it is quoted on the NASDAQ exchange, and with facilities spanning Europe and America, it sells its products in more than 80 countries. It employs more than 350 people.


UDG Healthcare plc, formerly United Drug, is a Dublin-based international company and partner to the healthcare industry, providing clinical, commercial, communication and packaging services. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

The company was established in Ballina in County Mayo as The United Drug Chemical Company, a co-operative controlled by Irish pharmacists, in 1948.

The group operates in 24 countries with 9,000 employees globally.

The major two of its three divisions, Ashfield and Sharp, operate across several sites in the United States.

Recent expansions in the US include a $14m pharmaceutical-grade packaging facility in Bethlehem, PA, and acquisitions including CambridgeBiomarketing, a US-based comms agency focused on orphan and rare diseases (up to $35m), healthcare management consultancy Vynamic (up tot $32m),  and Micromass, a US-based comms agency specialising in behavioural change (up to $75.8m).

Full year 2017 figures showed 52% of the group’s revenue and 49% of the group’s profits originated from North America.


This article was originally published in Business & Finance on November 19th 2018.