Astellas Pharma to invest €330m in new Kerry facility

14 Sep 2023

Image: © Alek/

The new facility will expand the company’s capacity for aseptic drug products and bring highly specialised engineering, science and technology roles to the region.

Japanese company Astellas Pharma has today (14 September) announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art facility in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Astellas is a pharmaceutical company that creates new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs.

The €330m investment will expand the company’s capacity 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 new 44.7-acre facility will be based on the IDA greenfield site in Kerry Technology Park bringing highly specialised engineering, science and technology roles to the region. The number of roles to be created has not yet been stated, however, The Irish Times has reported local estimates of approximately 350 jobs.

The latest investment marks Astrellas’s third site in Ireland, having established a manufacturing plant in Mulhuddart, Dublin, for active pharmaceutical ingredients in 1986.

Astellas currently uses approximately one-third of its 50-acre Dublin site for production and related activities with the remainder of the land being available for future development and site expansion.

The second site in Killorglin, Co Kerry, was set up in 1990 and manufactures a range of treatments, including the immunosuppressant Prograf.

Subject to planning permission, construction of the new facility is expected to commence in 2024 and the company is aiming to have it operational by 2028.

IDA Ireland CEO Michael Lohan said the investment is excellent news for the south-west region. “Astellas already has a presence in both Kerry and Dublin and this significant investment of approximately €330m, adding a new state-of-the-art aseptic drug product facility, underscores the strategic importance Ireland plays in Astellas’ global operations,” he said.

“The new facility in Tralee will be built with sustainability at its core and will showcase Ireland and our regional attractiveness as a location for investment.”

Hideki Shima, chief manufacturing officer at Astellas, said the company is developing innovative drugs and technologies based on its “focus area research and development approach”.

“With the new facility, Astellas will aim to strengthen our in-house production capacity and capabilities and ensure a stable supply of high-quality Astellas medicines to patients around the world.”

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Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic