Japanese pharma company to invest €330m in new facility in Tralee, creating 350 jobs

Astellas specialises in transplant, kidney, bladder and cancer drugs

Astellas, a global Japanese pharmaceutical company specialising in transplant, kidney, bladder and cancer drugs, is to invest more than €330 million in a new facility on a 45-acre site in Tralee, Co Kerry.

A planning application is to be lodged shortly.

Naoki Okamura, president and chief executive of Astellas Pharma, said the Tralee facility would build capabilities to supply the Astellas global market and accelerate the development of innovative medicines.

This investment by Astellas will expand its capacity and capabilities for aseptic drug products, reinforce stable production for global supply and accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative antibody drugs and other new products, the company said.


Astellas operates in more than 70 countries. It already employs about 400 people in its long-standing manufacturing plants in Killorglin, Co Kerry, Mulhuddart in Dublin and its marketing and sales operation in Citywest in Saggart.

A leader in the areas of transplantation and urology, it has a strong presence in oncology drugs in the areas of prostate cancer, leukaemia and other cancers. It is also focused on developing new drugs for unmet medical needs.

The new facility, which it is hoped will begin construction in 2024 and become operational by 2028, will be based in Kerry Technology Park in Tralee.

It will result in bringing specialised engineering, science and technology roles to the region, the IDA said.

IDA chief executive Michael Lohan welcomed the investment.

“Astellas already has a presence in both Kerry and Dublin and this significant investment of approximately €330 million, adding a new state-of-the-art aseptic drug product facility, underscores the strategic importance Ireland plays in Astellas’s global operations,” Mr Lohan said.

Mayor of Kerry Jim Finucane, of Fine Gael, said the announcement was “a game-changer for Tralee”.

“It is the most significant thing that has happened in decades,” he said.

The plans are for a three-story building, total floor area of 17,000sq m and a building footprint of about 7,300sq m.

Estimates locally are for upwards of 350 jobs.