Eli Lilly to invest $1bn in Limerick manufacturing hub

28 Mar 2023

From left: IDA Ireland interim CEO Mary Buckley, Simon Coveney, TD, and Eli Lilly CEO Dave Ricks. Image: David Jones

The company plans to create more than 300 highly skilled jobs at the facility and aims to begin recruitment this year.

Pharma giant Eli Lilly is increasing its investment in a new manufacturing facility in Limerick, with an additional $500m announced for its development.

The facility will support and expand Eli Lilly’s global manufacturing network for active ingredients used in medicines to meet increased demand for its products – including its Alzheimer’s portfolio.

The company said the biotech facility will be its most technically advanced manufacturing site for existing monoclonal antibodies and is expected to be fully operational by 2026. Construction of the new 500,000 sq ft facility is currently underway at IDA’s Business Park in Raheen.

In January 2022, the pharma company announced an initial $500m investment into the facility, along with plans to create more than 300 highly skilled jobs. The multinational plans to begin recruitment for these jobs this year.

Founded in 1876, Eli Lilly first established its Irish operations in 1978 through its facility in Kinsale, Co Cork. This site started manufacturing active ingredients for medicines in 1981 and received the green light in 2017 for a €200m expansion.

In 2021, an extension to the manufacturing facility was opened with the potential for “a substantial number of new jobs” at the Cork base. The company currently employs more than 2,700 people in Cork.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, TD, said Eli Lilly’s investment “highlights the wealth of talent we have to offer”.

“The company produces key healthcare products which are aiding in the fight against a variety of the world’s most serious illnesses,” Coveney said.

“All regional investments are hugely welcome, and the Government is fully supportive of such initiatives. I would like to congratulate the team and wish them every success for the future with this fantastic project.”

IDA Ireland interim CEO Mary Buckley said the new investment is proof of Eli Lilly’s commitment to Ireland and a “testament to Ireland’s continued attractiveness as a location for investment.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic