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13 companies at this year’s NIBRT biopharma careers event

29 Oct 2021

This year’s Careers in Biopharma event will be hosted virtually and will bring some of pharma’s biggest names together to highlight employment opportunities.

Next Friday (5 November), the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) will hold its seventh annual Careers in Biopharma event.

The event will be held virtually and will give those interested in working in biopharma a chance to find out where the best opportunities are and the skills they need to succeed.

As well as presentations from blue-chip biopharma companies, the event will also give attendees the opportunity to attend virtual breakout meetings with employers.

There will also be advice on upskilling and cross-skilling programmes for those working within the sector.

Registration for the event is free and those interested in attending can register on the NIBRT website. Here are the companies that will be attending the event.


Research-driven pharma player AbbVie is one of the top life sciences companies around the globe and produces Humira, used to treat a variety of ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. AbbVie has Irish operations in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Mayo and Sligo.


Having opened its first Irish facility in Blanchardstown in 2013, Alexion’s presence on the island has grown, with the addition of an aseptic vial-fill-finish facility in Athlone. The company specialises in targeting rare diseases, including myasthenia gravis and hypophosphatasia. Last year, it was acquired by AstraZeneca in a $39bn deal.


International biotechnology firm Amgen develops therapeutics for serious illnesses. It operates a major facility in Dún Laoghaire with state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities bulking up the company’s global operations and employing hundreds of people. The company also has an office in Santry.


Homegrown Irish biotech and pharma R&D company APC was founded in 2011 by Dr Mark Barrett and Prof Brian Glennon and has seen incredible success over the last decade. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to invest €25m in a new focus on vaccines that will create 120 jobs. The company said that expansion at its headquarters in Dublin will enable the rapid research and manufacture of vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, as well as other advanced therapeutics for rare diseases.


US biotech company BioMarin was founded more than 20 years ago and has offices and facilities around the world, including in Dublin and Cork. In 2017, it completed a two-year expansion at its Shanbally site in Cork and in 2019 it opened a new Dublin office to support growth across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.


Global life sciences player Eurofins is not a direct manufacturer of biopharma products. Instead, the company carries out testing and services for clinical diagnostics, biopharma and agriscience as well as the food and beverage sectors. Eurofins has a significant presence in Ireland, with labs in Dublin, Waterford and Cork. In 2019, the company announced 150 new jobs for its Dublin facility, focusing particularly on DevOps and virtualisation.


Pharma company Janssen is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which is one of the largest biotechs in the world. Janssen has an office in Dublin and manufacturing facilities in Cork. Its base in Ringaskiddy began operations in 2005 and it produces biomedicines for the treatment of immune-related diseases and new and innovative cancer treatments.


Lilly’s first investment in Ireland began in the 1970s, with the purchase of a farm near Kinsale in Cork. That site is now a vast high-technology manufacturing campus that makes active ingredients for Lilly medicines, which are used in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and more.


MSD has a long history in Ireland, with four major sites in Dublin, Carlow, Cork and Tipperary. The company works on treating diseases such as cancer, HIV and Ebola. Last year, the company agreed to purchase Takeda’s state-of-the art biologics plant in Meath and in December it announced the creation of 240 jobs and a new biologics facility.


Having already been a household name in pharma, Pfizer is now known as one of the companies behind one of the Covid-19 vaccines. The company has several sites across Ireland, having been one of the first pharma companies set up a base in the country. Recently, Pfizer announced a major multimillion-euro investment that would bring 300 jobs to Ireland and earlier this year it confirmed plans to invest up to $40m at its Grange Castle site, creating further roles.


While its Dunboyne site was purchased by MSD last year, Takeda still has a strong presence in Ireland. In December 2020, the company began the expansion of its new oncology production line in Bray, Co Wicklow, which was first set up in the region in 1997. Earlier this year, it announced that it will invest €36.4m in its Grange Castle site to support the expansion of the company’s cell therapy production facility.

VLE Therapeutics

A recent addition to the biopharma world, VLE Therapeutics is a company spun out from APC. It was established in 2020 to act as a ‘medicine accelerator’ and will focus on the manufacture of vaccines and advanced therapeutics including cell and gene therapies. The company said earlier in the year that it planned to have a new manufacturing facility in place for this by the end of 2021, with an annual full-scale capacity of up to 50m vaccine doses.

WuXi Biologics

Headquartered in China, WuXi Biologics is an open-access biologics technology platform that offers end-to-end services in order to accelerate the development and manufacturing of biologics. In 2019, work began on a €325m start-of-the-art WuXi Biologics facility in Dundalk, which is now nearing completion and will see hundreds of highly skilled jobs created at the facility.

Updated 10.15am, 4 November 2021: An earlier version of this article said Johnson & Johnson would be at the NIBRT careers fair. It was updated to clarify that it will be Johnson & Johnson’s pharma subsidiary, Janssen, that will be in attendance.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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