US biopharmaceutical firm announces job boost for Cork

Tue, Feb 28, 2012, 00:00

CORK YESTERDAY received a jobs boost when Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton announced details of a €330 million investment by US biopharmaceutical firm, Eli Lilly, which will create 200 jobs over the next three years.

Mr Bruton said the decision by Eli Lilly to make such a large investment in its manufacturing plant at Dunderrow, near Kinsale, was a testament both to the quality of the local management and workforce and to growing international confidence in the Irish economy.

Eli Lilly’s decision to locate the new unit at its Kinsale site follows intensive work by IDA Ireland. The new 240,000 sq ft facility will create a further 300 jobs during the construction phase, which is expected to last three years.

The new commercialisation and manufacturing facility will enhance the company’s ability to bring treatments for illnesses such as cancer and diabetes to patients worldwide, said Mr Bruton, formally making the announcement yesterday.

“This is a fantastic day. Here we have a company that’s exporting products in areas like diabetes and cancer treatment, which have fantastic futures, and it’s investing massively here so a strategic part of this company’s future is going to be driven by operations in Kinsale.”

Planning permission has been obtained for the new facility and construction work is due to commence next month, with the recruitment for the 200 specialist positions scheduled to start in the last quarter of 2013 and continuing until 2015.

Yesterday’s announcement is the second investment by Eli Lilly in biopharmaceutics at its Kinsale plant and follows a €300 million investment in 2006 in a biopharmaceutics manufacturing facility which now employs 140 and is scheduled to start commercial production in 2013. Kinsale site general manager, Ed Canary said the latest investment was an endorsement of the site’s success in developing a biopharmaceutical business in recent years. He praised the workforce for its excellent performance record and IDA Ireland for its support.

“In the past five years, we have hired and trained some highly talented people and now have a technical talent base and capability in biopharmaceutical commercialisation and manufacturing that makes us a very attractive company for highly skilled people,” he said.

Eli Lilly president of global Manufacturing operations, Maria Crowe, praised the Government for Ireland’s long established pro-business environment and the support of the pharmaceutical sector here through its science and technology policies.

Ireland’s commitment to education was reflected in the excellent candidates who apply to join Eli Lilly, with many going on to have highly successful careers with Eli Lilly operations across the globe, she added.

IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary said the latest investment was a great succcess for the Kinsale site while also a significant addition to the industrial base of the south-west.

“This investment demonstrates Lilly’s enduring commitment to Ireland and further evidence that Ireland continues to position itself as a leading location of choice for the commercialisation and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals,” Mr O’Leary said.