14 top companies hiring in life sciences right now
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14 top companies hiring in life sciences right now

12 Mar 2018

Is the career of your dreams in life sciences? These companies are some of the best in the world – and they’re hiring.

If you’re looking for a job in life sciences, you could do worse than to begin your search in Ireland.

Ireland is the seventh-largest exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world, and the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the EU. 10 out of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies have substantial manufacturing facilities on the island, where seven out of 10 of the world’s bestselling drugs are manufactured. In total, Ireland is home to 40 FDA-approved biopharma and pharma plants.

We’ve compiled this list of some of the best pharmaceutical companies around that have operations based in Ireland – and, luckily for you, they’re all hiring both here and at their various offices around the globe.


Bayer is a German multinational that focuses on health and veterinary pharmaceuticals. It was a Bayer scientist, Gerhard Domagk, who discovered what became the first commercially available antibiotic, Prontosil (sulfonamidochrysoidine). Domagk was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology for his efforts.

The company is hiring in the areas of quality assurance, production and R&D at many of its global offices in countries such as (but not limited to) the US, China, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands.


Roche is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and has the unique honour of being the first company to ever mass-produce synthetic vitamin C.

Recently, the company made headlines with the revelation that it had acquired New York start-up Flatiron Health. The start-up, founded by two ex-Google employees, has developed an electronic health record that is used by oncologists to produce data-driven insights into the best treatments to give patients.

Roche is looking for candidates for a number of researcher and scientist positions at its UK, US and Switzerland offices, across all levels of experience.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1988 in New York by Leonard S Schleifer, MD, along with bioscientist George Yancopoulos.

The company embarked on a hiring frenzy last October when it revealed it would be bringing on 300 new employees at its Limerick biologics manufacturing facility, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Regeneron is seeking applicants for positions in clinical development, industrial operations and R&D.


Sanofi is a French global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health, primarily on the prescription medicine market. Its diabetes drug, Lantus (insulin glargine), is one of the top-selling blockbuster drugs globally.

The multinational revealed in January that it is to buy Ablynx, a biopharmaceutical firm based in Ghent, Belgium, that specialises in the discovery and development of nanobodies.

The firm has available roles across a number of areas, such as quality, production and clinical development, in offices across the world.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)

BMS develops and manufactures drugs in a number of therapeutic areas, such as cancer, HIV, psychiatric disorders, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

In Ireland, the life sciences community continues to watch the ongoing development of its state-of-the-art, highly automated biologics manufacturing facility with bated breath. The facility will likely be operational by the end of 2018.

BMS is recruiting for a variety of life sciences positions.


Alexion Pharmaceuticals is best known for its development of drugs to treat rare diseases. Its most well-known offering is Soliris (eculizumab). The drug can improve the quality of life in patients affected by paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome, both rare and life-threatening blood diseases.

Alexion is taking on applicants in life sciences at its offices in the US, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the UK.


Pfizer needs little introduction. The US pharma giant develops and produces some of the bestselling drugs on the market, including such blockbusters as Lipitor (atorvastatin), Lyrica (pregabalin), Celexa (celecoxib) and Viagra (sildenafil).

It is hiring for a number of life sciences roles in medical, manufacturing, R&D and quality assurance/control.


MSD is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. It was founded in 1891 as a US subsidiary of its German parent company, Merck.

The company recently announced that it will take on a whopping 350 new employees in Ireland as it plans to construct a brand new biotech facility in Swords, Co Dublin, to play an important role in the manufacturing of its biologics-based medicines.

The company is hiring for a number of roles in life sciences.


Shire is an international biopharmaceutical company that specialises in serving those with rare diseases and other conditions. Some of its most famous products include Vyvanse and Adderall, both prescribed to treat ADHD.

Just last week, PharmaTimes reported that Shire’s investigational therapy, SHP647, has been awarded ‘orphan drug’ status, which qualifies the company for incentives such as tax credits. The drug is used to treat Crohn’s disease.

Shire is hiring quality control and quality assurance professionals at its sites in Ireland, the US, Argentina, Singapore and Austria.


Another Swiss pharmaceutical giant hailing from Basel, Novartis is known for manufacturing popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Voltaren (diclofenac, known as Difene in Ireland), Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Clozaril (clozapine), among other drugs.

Novartis is seeking applicants in quality assurance across its many global offices, including (but not limited to) those in the US, Ireland and the UK.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GSK, a British pharmaceutical company headquartered in London, is best known for producing the drugs Augmentin (amoxicillin), Flovent (fluticasone propionate) and Lamictal (lamotrigine) among others, as well as toothpaste brands Sensodyne and Aquafresh.

In March 2017, GSK appointed Emma Walmsley as its CEO, the first female CEO in the company and the first time that a woman has led a large pharmaceutical corporation.

GSK is hiring in the areas of R&D, manufacturing and supply.


Biopharma giant Amgen focuses on six therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, oncology, bone health, neuroscience, nephrology and inflammation. Its medicines address illnesses for which there are limited treatment options.

It produces one of the top-selling drugs in the world, Enbrel (etanercept), which is used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Amgen is seeking life sciences candidates for its R&D, manufacturing and quality control departments.


AbbVie produces the bestselling drug on the global market, Humira (adalimumab), which is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

The company employs close to 29,000 people globally and has core competencies in the areas of immunology, oncology, virology, general medicine and neuroscience.

AbbVie is hiring in its R&D and medical departments at its various offices worldwide.


Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been around since 1781 when its founder, Chobei Takeda, started a business selling traditional Japanese and Chinese medicines in Doshomachi, Osaka.

The company has grown in its 237 years to become the largest pharma company in Japan. It employs 30,000 people worldwide and has a presence in more than 70 countries, and markets its drugs in almost 100 countries.

The company recently revealed that it is to invest €25m and create 70 new roles at its Grange Castle facility in Dublin. It has a number of quality control positions available.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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