Chinese biopharmaceutical company WuXi Biologics, which is building a €325 million plant in Dundalk, has doubled down on its investment, with plans to build a $240 million (€216m) vaccine production facility on the new campus.
The move will lead to the creation of 200 additional jobs to the town over five years.
A planning application for the new investment by the Hong Kong-listed group’s Wuxi Vaccines subsidiary was submitted to Louth Country Council recently.
The additional investment, which is supported by IDA Ireland, will bring the group's investment locally to over €500 million, and total employment on the campus to 600 by 2024.
WuXi Vaccines is a joint venture between WuXi Biologics and Hile Bio-pharmaceutical. The company has entered into the strategic partnership with a global vaccine leader under which WuXi Vaccines will build a dedicated facility to exclusively supply a commercial product for the global market.
Construction of the flagship WuXi Biologics contract manufacturing facility, which was announced last April, is currently under way, with commercial production scheduled to start in 2021.
The plant, which will employ 400 people when up and running, has been designed to be the world’s largest biologics contract manufacturing facility using single-use and flexible scale-out production technology.
"We believe our 'co-located' WuXi Biologics and WuXi Vaccines businesses will work well together, and contribute substantially to the further future growth of the WuXi Biologics Campus in Dundalk," said chief executive Dr Chris Chen.
“This new project to exclusively manufacture a vaccine for the global market is among the first of its kind in the industry, and is a further testimony to the technical strengths and premier quality which WuXi Biologics will bring to Dundalk.”
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys described the news as “a great win for the northeast and a huge vote of confidence in the local workforce”.