Shire Receives U.S. FDA Approval for New State-of-the-Art Plasma Manufacturing Facility Near Covington, Georgia

  • New facility will add 30% capacity to Shire’s internal plasma manufacturing network once fully operational
  • Expanded capacity supports continued strong growth of Shire’s leading immunoglobulin portfolio and further strengthens ability to deliver complex therapies for rare immune-mediated conditions

Dublin, Ireland – June 21, 2018 – Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), the global biotechnology leader in rare diseases, announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the company’s first submission for its new plasma manufacturing facility near Covington, Georgia for the production of GAMMAGARD LIQUID® [Immune Globulin Infusion (Human)] 10% Solution, a replacement therapy for primary humoral immunodeficiency (PI).

The Covington facility will add approximately 30% capacity to Shire’s internal plasma manufacturing network once fully operational. Commercial production at the site began in January 2018, and Shire expects to distribute product shortly now that approval has been granted.

“The approval of our Covington, Georgia facility is a significant milestone for Shire and for the patients we serve,” said Matt Walker, Head of Technical Operations for Shire. “The increased manufacturing capacity from the site will support Shire’s growing Immunology franchise and further strengthens our ability to deliver complex therapies for patients around the world living with a range of rare and immune-mediated conditions.”

In 2017, Shire’s immunoglobulin portfolio delivered significant growth, with product sales increasing +18% versus prior year. In the first quarter of 2018, Shire’s immunoglobulin portfolio grew +12% driven by continued strong sales of subcutaneous products.

“The demand for immunoglobulin continues to accelerate, and we understand that the safe production of these plasma-based therapies is a time-consuming, intricate and highly-regulated process,” said John G. Boyle, President and CEO of the Immune Deficiency Foundation. “The fact that even more people with primary immunodeficiency diseases have the potential to be helped, with the approval of a new, cutting-edge manufacturing facility specifically designed to produce complex plasma-based therapies, is welcome news for our patient community.”

The Covington site currently employs approximately 900 full-time colleagues and contract employees. Since the beginning of 2018, Shire has ramped up hiring to fill roles in manufacturing, quality, engineering, maintenance, utilities, warehouse, and various support and facility roles.

Shire expects to make a second submission to the FDA in 2018 for development of its albumin therapy at the Covington facility. Shire’s albumin therapy is primarily used as plasma-volume replacement therapy in immune disorders, trauma and other critical conditions.

Shire also plans to continue expanding its plasma collection network in Georgia and throughout the United States through its subsidiary, BioLife Plasma Services. BioLife collects the human plasma used in the manufacturing process for immunology products at the Covington facility.

GAMMAGARD LIQUID [Immune Globulin Infusion (Human)] 10% Solution


  • GAMMAGARD LIQUID is indicated for the treatment of primary humoral immunodeficiency diseases (PI) in patients two years of age and older. GAMMAGARD LIQUID is a ready-to-use, liquid medicine that contains immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies, which protect the body against infection.
  • GAMMAGARD LIQUID is made from human plasma that is donated by healthy people and contains antibodies that replace the missing antibodies in patients with PI.
  • GAMMAGARD LIQUID is given into a vein (intravenously) or under the skin (subcutaneously). You and your healthcare provider will decide which way is best for you. Most of the time infusions under the skin are given at home by patients or caregivers, after training. Although it is possible to give yourself infusions into a vein at home, they are more often given in a hospital or infusion center by a nurse. Only use GAMMAGARD LIQUID by yourself after you have been instructed by your healthcare provider.

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information that I should know about GAMMAGARD LIQUID?
GAMMAGARD LIQUID can cause the following serious reactions:

  • Severe allergic reactions causing difficulty in breathing or skin rashes
  • Decreased kidney function or kidney failure
  • Blood clots in the heart, brain, lungs or elsewhere in the body
  • Severe headache, drowsiness, fever, painful eye movements, or nausea and vomiting
  • Dark colored urine, swelling, fatigue, or difficulty breathing

Who should not use GAMMAGARD LIQUID?
 if you:

  • Have a known history of a severe allergic reaction to IgG or other blood products.
  • Have selective (or severe) immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency with antibodies to IgA.

GAMMAGARD LIQUID can cause serious side effects. Call your healthcare professional or go to the emergency department right away if you get:

  • Hives, swelling in the mouth or throat, itching, trouble breathing, wheezing, fainting or dizziness. These could be signs of a serious allergic reaction.
  • Bad headache with nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, fever, and sensitivity to light. These could be signs of irritation of the lining around your brain.
  • Reduced urination, sudden weight gain, or swelling in your legs. These could be signs of a kidney problem.
  • Pain, swelling, warmth, redness, or a lump in your legs or arms. These could be signs of a blood clot.
  • Brown or red urine, fast heart rate, yellow skin or eyes. These could be signs of a liver or blood problem.
  • Chest pain or trouble breathing, or blue lips or extremities. These could be signs of a serious heart or lung problem.
  • Fever over 100ºF. This could be a sign of an infection.

Whenever giving yourself treatments at home, you should have another responsible person present to help treat side effects or get help if you have a serious adverse reaction occur. Ask your healthcare provider whether you should have rescue medications available, such as antihistamines or epinephrine.

What are the possible or reasonably likely side effects of GAMMAGARD LIQUID for PI?

  • The following one or more possible reactions may occur at the site of infusion. These generally go away within a few hours, and are less likely after the first few infusions: Mild or moderate pain, swelling, itching, redness, bruising, and warmth.
  • During the infusion of GAMMAGARD LIQUID, look out for the first signs of the following common side effects: Headache, migraine, fever, fatigue, itching, rash/hives, cough, chest pain/tightness, chills/shaking chills, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, faster heart rate, upper abdominal pain, increased blood pressure, muscle cramps, and sore throat.

These are not all the possible side effects. Talk to your healthcare professional about any side effects that bother you or that don’t go away. 

For additional information, including Warning regarding blood clots, decreased kidney function, and kidney failure, click here for full Prescribing Information including Patient Information and discuss with your doctor.

You are encouraged to report suspected side effects by contacting FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or or Shire at 1-800-999-1785

The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. To learn more, talk about GAMMAGARD LIQUID with your healthcare provider or pharmacist