Pharma group Shire is create 400 jobs in Co Meath over the next four years as part of a $400 million investment in the Republic.
The company said it plans to create a “new, state of the art” biologics manufacturing campus on a 120 acre site at Piercetown, Co Meath. Construction of the new site will begin in the middle of this year with the site expected to be operational by mid-2019.
Shire chief executive Flemming Ornskov said the project was "fundamental" to its goal of becoming the world's leading biotechnology company focused on rare diseases and other speciality conditions.
“The expansion will enable us to meet increasing product demands, support our pipeline and, ultimately, help more patients,” he said.
We are delighted to be expanding our operations in Ireland, where we have strong, existing relationships. The new campus in Co Meath will provide necessary geographic diversification and will help us serve our growing international business.”
The jobs at the facility will consist of “highly skilled and full time in the areas of R&D, operations, technical staff, engineering and construction”.
Shire senior vice president of technical operations Tim Kelly said the Republic was a "strategically important location" for the company, providing both "excellence in life science R&D and manufacturing".
“We already have a strong team on the ground in Ireland and believe that it is the right location for us to build a new state of the art facility which will complement our existing manufacturing operations in the US,” he said.
Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said the project would also bring an additional 700 additional jobs during construction.
IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said the Republic was "an attractive location for many industries, but for the life sciences and biotechnology sectors in particular".
“These are sectors in which we excel and we are very pleased that Shire is building on its existing presence here with the development of a new campus at Piercetown, Co Meath,” he said.
“This investment by Shire demonstrates not only IDA’s strategy of attracting biotechnology investment to Ireland but also our focus on supporting balanced regional economic development.
“It is also worth noting that this is the second significant investment for Meath in the past six months. The scale of this investment will have a substantial economic impact on Co Meath and the wider Mid-East Region.”