AstraZeneca injects €65m into Irish manufacturing and R&D expansion

24 Jun 2022

Image: © Roland Magnusson/

This expansion follows last year’s announcement that AstraZeneca is making a major investment in a new manufacturing facility in Dublin.

Alexion, the rare diseases division of global biopharma company AstraZeneca, is making a major investment in its Irish operations.

This will lead to new and enhanced capabilities at the company’s sites in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin, and Athlone, Co Westmeath. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, TD, described the move as “a real boost to Ireland as a global hub for life sciences”.

AstraZeneca is pumping €65m into scaling up its biologics manufacturing capability and expanding R&D in Dublin and Westmeath over next 18 months.

The investment plan includes the installation of new drug substance production equipment and warehousing facilities to support ambient and cold storage at both sites. This will expand Alexion’s drug substance production capabilities in Ireland.

The plan also involves the construction of a manufacturing sciences and technology lab at the College Park site in Blanchardstown. That building will facilitate the company’s scaling up of biologics drug substance manufacturing in Ireland.

“We are delighted to be further investing in our facilities in Ireland, an increasingly critical global hub for AstraZeneca operations, to support the continued growth of Alexion’s portfolio of medicines and meet our needs for expansion,” said Marc Dunoyer, CEO of Alexion.

“This investment will allow for new capabilities for AstraZeneca in Ireland and support our global ambition to accelerate the development and delivery of life-changing medicines for more people affected by rare diseases.”

The company’s expansion is being supported by the Government through IDA Ireland. Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA, said the move would help with Ireland’s ambition to be “at the forefront of driving the future of biopharma”.

“Today’s announcement to continue to increase Alexion capabilities in Ireland further demonstrates the company’s commitment to the rich life science ecosystem Ireland has to offer,” he added.

“The future of biopharmaceuticals lies in R&D and manufacturing opportunities, growth in advanced therapeutics, building employment opportunities in specialised roles and a commitment to a patient-centric, partnership approach.”

The announcement follows on from last year’s news that AstraZeneca was planning a $360m investment in a new manufacturing facility at the Alexion campus in Blanchardstown, in a move that would create 100 new jobs.

AstraZeneca acquired Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2020 in a $39bn deal.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic