Biopharma group Alexion to hire 200 at new Dublin plant

Rare disease specialist’s €75m investment is third base in Ireland and comes just nine months after initial entry to market

Thu, Apr 3, 2014, 10:15

Rare disease specialist Alexion has announced another €75 million investment in Ireland, creating a further 200 jobs.

The US company, which first announced its arrival in Ireland last July, has secured permission for a new campus in Blanchardstown – its third investment in the State.

Alexion is the developer of Soliris, a treatment for ultra-rare but often lethal forms of anaemia. The blockbuster drug, which first came to market in 2007, is one of the most expensive therapies on the market.

The company announced this morning that it has been granted planning permission for a 15,000 square metre base in College Park, Blanchardstown, where it will establish laboratory, packaging and warehousing operations alongside office space.

It expects the initial phase of the project to involve the creation of 200 jobs by 2016, with a similar number involved in the construction of the plant.

Speaking today, chief executive Leonard Bell said: “As we expand our global mission to transform the lives of patients with severe and rare disorders, we are pleased to announce our commitment to Ireland as a key location for Alexion’s global supply chain operations.

“Our choice of Ireland reflects the calibre of the workforce and the country’s culture of innovation, and we look forward to an ongoing partnership with the Irish Government, IDA Ireland and local communities in the years to come.”

Welcoming the announcement, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Dublin, said: “Today marks a significant commitment by Alexion to Ireland .

He noted the company had been recognised by Forbes as the world’s second most innovative.

“I am delighted it has chosen to establish operations in the country that magazine recognised as the best in the world for business. As a Government, we are determined to deliver jobs and investment and today’s welcome announcement is another step in getting Ireland working again.”

Alexion Pharma International Trading, a subsidiary of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, established its global supply chain and quality operation in Ireland last July. It currently employs more than 60 people at its initial Park West operation.

In February, it announced plans to acquire a second site in Athlone – part of the former Elan Drug Technologies facility – to create an aseptic vial fill finish facility, its first company-owned vial facility worldwide. Today’s announcement means the company’s workforce will climb to around 300 by 2016.

The company hired Julie O’Neill, who had previously established the Irish operations of biopharma group Gilead Sciences, to head up its Irish business in February.

Alexion, which is based in Connecticut, employs more than 1,800 people worldwide.