Photo of Athlone city in Co Westmeath on a bright day.
Athlone city in Co Westmeath. Image: © buttbongo/

180 new jobs for ‘highly skilled scientists’ to arrive in Athlone

28 Apr 2021

Contract research company PPD is expanding its operations in the Midlands and will be hiring for science professionals over the next three years.

Global contract research company PPD is set to expand its operations in Athlone, Co Westmeath, where it has a good manufacturing practices (GMP) laboratory. It will increase the size of its current facility in the region and add cell and gene therapies to its portfolio, creating 180 new scientist jobs over the next three years.

PPD’s services span integrated drug development and laboratory and life cycle management. It has offices in 47 countries where it caters to companies in pharma, biotechnology, medical devices, academia and governments.

The company said it has been met with growing customer demand in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Adding cell and gene therapy development to its Athlone base will give clients in these regions access to services that are already available in its Wisconsin lab in the US.

PPD’s executive vice-president, Christopher Fikry, said: “Our enlarged operations will enhance our capabilities in leading technologies related to biopharmaceutical testing and speciality testing for biologics and small molecules.

“This expansion will enable PPD to provide customers with additional services aimed at reducing time to market for new drug products in important areas such as cell and gene therapies. We are thankful our expansion has been welcomed and supported by the Irish Government and IDA Ireland, and we’re confident these new developments will benefit our customers.”

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said that PPD will gain greater access to the “rich talent pool that exists in the Midlands”, where it has been operating for 10 years.

The facility will be extended from 48,000 sq ft to 83,000 sq ft and is expected to be fully functional by mid-2022. It currently employs almost 300 people across science and project management.

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Trade Promotion Robert Troy, TD, said that the new roles would be for highly skilled scientists.

“This announcement demonstrates that Athlone and the Midlands region have the skills, talent, people and connectivity that will enable companies like PPD to embed and grow their operations here,” Troy said. “Regional job creation is a key priority of this Government and we will be working to secure further investment for all regions in the months and years ahead.”

Learn more about careers at PPD here.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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