US drug development group Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is to add more than 400 new jobs at its Limerick facility, bringing the total number employed at the campus to more than 1,400.
The roles will be full-time, high-end specialist jobs in commercial manufacturing, process sciences, quality assurance and control, supply chain and support functions for scientists, chemists and technicians.
The roles will help support Regeneron’s medicine production, with the company planning to maximise manufacturing capacity at its New York facility for its Covid-19 antibody drug combination REGN-COV2, which has been shown to both prevent and treat the disease in rhesus macaque monkeys and hamsters. That has led to an increase in capacity in Limerick.
“As this pandemic hit, we needed to quickly change how we do things and where we make our products. In order to make space in our New York facilities to accommodate our Covid-19 efforts, we needed to ramp-up capacity here in Limerick,” said Dan van Plew, executive vice-president and general manager of industrial operations and product supply (IOPS) at Regeneron.
"Despite ramping up commercial production sooner than planned, my team hasn't missed a beat. You can only perform like this if you have good people, and Ireland has lots of good people, so we are excited to be hiring 400 more."
The expansion builds on the company's commitment to Limerick, where it has invested more than $1 billion (€847,193). The IOPS campus at Raheen Business Park currently has more than 1,000 employees, more than 300 contingent workers and almost 500 construction personnel working on site. It is the largest-scale bulk biologics production facility in Ireland.
“Just six years ago, we hired our first employee in Limerick. Today, we have more than 1,000 full-time employees at our Limerick campus and with this latest announcement we are adding an additional 400 people to our world-class team,” said Niall O’Leary, vice-president and site head at IOPS Limerick.
“This demonstrates not only Regeneron’s incredibly strong pipeline but our commitment to Ireland and the mid-west region.”
The announcement was attended by both Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. The Taoiseach said the new jobs were a further vote of confidence in the skills and talent of the workforce and would be a welcome boost to the economy.
“Ireland continues to resonate with leading global companies for investment. The Government’s mission over the coming months and years is to rebuild our society and economy in the post-Covid world,” he said. “We need to get people back to work and to protect and create sustainable jobs.”
The announcement was also welcomed by IDA Ireland, with executive director Mary Buckley describing it as a "significant" announcement.