200 jobs being created at Waterford medtech firm OPKO

21 Apr 2016

200 highly-skilled jobs are to be created at the Waterford-based healthcare company OPKO Health as part of the future expansion of the EirGen Pharma facility in Westside Business Park.

Founded in 2005 by two former Ivax Pharmaceuticals executives, Patsy Carney and Tom Brennan, EirGen Pharma was acquired by the multinational OPKO Health in May of last year, and the new parent company now plans on expanding EirGen Pharma’s facility on the outskirts of Waterford city.

In particular, OPKO plans on growing EirGen’s presence in the south-east region over the next five years with the expansion of EirGen’s existing manufacturing facility in Westside Business Park, as well as the establishment of an R&D centre with manufacturing capabilities for new sterile fill finish and dry powder inhalation products.

In doing so, OPKO says it will need to fill 200 highly-skilled positions once this new development phase is completed and it can begin moving into the new facilities.

South-east bouncing back

The company plans on locating its new facilities in IDA Ireland’s newly-built Advance Technology Building (ATB) on the park, one of 11 being built around the country.

Phillip Frost, MD, chair and CEO of OPKO Health, said in a statement on the news: “Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for EirGen Pharma and this investment underpins our strategy to establish Ireland as a Centre of Excellence for R&D and supply chain activities.”

Adding similar praise, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said: “The south-east suffered particularly badly from the crash and we placed a particular focus on this region as part of our plans since taking office.  It is hugely encouraging that the south-east is now enjoying the fastest rate of jobs growth in the country.”

Under OPKO, EirGen specialises in the development, registration and commercial supply of specialised pharmaceutical products that are mainly used in cancer treatment, with its key markets currently being the EU, US, Japan and the Middle East.

Looking for tech jobs in Ireland? Check out our Featured Employers section for information on companies hiring right now.

Test tubes image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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