IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 14 March
Amgen to acquire Pfizer plant | Teradata to create Dublin jobs
The Irish Times reports that most internet-bought drugs uncovered in Ireland do not come from facilities that have been regulated and inspected to EU safety and quality standards. A total of 5,757 medical seizures was made by Revenue in 2010, representing almost 80 percent of drug seizures made by customs officers last year. Of this figure, 5,641 seizures were of illicit medicines intercepted in the post and seized. The Irish Medicines Board has warned people never to purchase a medicine over the internet, especially not prescription-only drugs.
The paper also says that US biotech giant Amgen has agreed to acquire a Dublin plant from pharma group Pfizer in a transaction that will secure 280 jobs. The Californian group has also held out the prospect of expanding its presence over the next few years. Amgen specialises in developing drugs for cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and bone disease. The former Pfizer plant had been scheduled to close. Under the deal, 240 workers at the plant will transfer to Amgen. The remaining 40 staff will remain with Pfizer.
The paper also reports that software firm Teradata is to create 30 new jobs in Dublin. The data warehousing and business intelligence firm has been operating in Santry since 2007. The announcement follows a record fourth quarter for 2010 and full year results for the US-based firm.
The Irish Examiner says that British family history website Ancestry.co.uk is launching a collection of 19th century historical Irish records, to help Irish family historians and the estimated 80 million people worldwide of Irish descent to explore their heritage. There are now more than 35 million historical Irish records on the website, including 2 million upgraded records from shortly before and after the Famine.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Japan's massive earthquake has affected operations at dozens of semiconductor factories. The disruption raises fears of shortages or price increases for a number of widely used components, especially flash memory chips used in products like smartphones and tablet PCs. The quake struck hundreds of miles from many key chip plants, including most of the factories that account for the bulk of Japan's flash-memory production. Most of such factories are designed to withstand big quakes, but some manufacturers are likely to be affected by other issues, such as disruptions in transportation of goods as well as the movement of employees and supplies to production plants.
According to the Financial Times, many retailers and Apple stores ran out of the iPad 2 within hours of its first availability, suggesting that initial sales could well surpass those of the first version. Queues at Apple stores in New York, San Francisco and elsewhere wrapped around city blocks, with some people waiting for hours only to find that iPad 2 supplies were gone or limited to the more expensive models.
The Sunday Times reports that Caribbean mobile operator Digicel has done a deal to swap mobile businesses with a rival company owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Digicel is taking over the Jamaican operation of Slim's America Movil. In return, Digicel is selling its mobile units in Honduras and El Salvador to America Movil.
The paper also says that Mandac, a Dublin-based low-power satellite internet and telecoms firm, has won a deal with the European Space Agency to launch products in East Africa. The move will allow the agency's satellites to beam broadband into the remotest parts of the region.
The Sunday Business Post reports that hundreds of new tech jobs are expected to be announced this week by a multinational. Informed sources said there would be news of "a big number of jobs in the digital space" within days, with the investment outside Dublin. It is understood the new investor is not Twitter, which is still finalising where to locate its European base.
The paper also says that Bank of Ireland has hired HCL, an Indian outsourcing firm, to coordinate how it employs Irish IT firms who are developing new software for the group.
The same paper says that Glantreo, a firm spun out of UCC, has signed a USD10 million licensing deal with a large US firm that has not been identified. Glantreo will supply silica-based materials to the company, which specialises in chromatography.
The paper also reports that internet telephony firm Blueface has launched what it describes as a low-cost product for SMEs who use Emutex VMX.
The paper also says that one-third of businesses are using virtualisation across the entire organisation, according to a Citrix study, and two-thirds are evaluating or trialing the technology.
The Sunday Independent notes that new Education and Skills Minister Ruairi Quinn has written a letter of resignation to 4th Level Ventures University Seed Fund, a firm that funds university research. Quinn has been chairman of the fund advisory committee of 4th Level Ventures for about four years. This fund supports start-up companies that are set up using research by universities, hospitals and Institutes of Technology. Quinn's decision to step down is understood to have been taken to alleviate any concerns that may have arisen about a possible conflict of interest.