Image: Planar/Shutterstock
Image: Planar/Shutterstock

Roscommon eyes piece of biopharma jobs buzz with new facility planned

26 Jul 2017

With not far off 900 biopharma jobs created in Ireland already in 2017, it makes sense that Roscommon wants in on the act.

Reports of a new pharmaceutical facility near Athlone suggest the possibility of hundreds of new Roscommon jobs in the biopharma space.

With 100 construction jobs already pencilled in for the building of a facility called PriMe 6, the hopes are that several drug companies will come on board to share the clean room.

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Denis Naughten, Communications Minister and Roscommon-Galway TD, said it is a unique prospect for any drug company looking to expand into the EU.

“Not just nationally, I think internationally, there has never been a design like this offered to anyone in Europe, and I think it’s a very attractive investment opportunity to bring employment into the Lakelands region, into Co Roscommon, from either the US, or the UK in particular,” he said.

Roscommon jobs

Ireland is one of the world’s top biopharmaceutical manufacturing locations and it has seen more than €10bn of investment in the last 10 years from global biopharma giants.

When looking at 2017 as a whole, the decision to build a facility in the hopes of company introductions or expansions is pretty logical.

Between January and May this year, 830 jobs were announced in this space throughout the country. More than one-third of those jobs came through MSD’s decision for a €280m, 330-job expansion spread between Cork and Carlow.

More than 200 new hires will be needed at its Brinny facility in Co Cork to meet the demand for work on some of the company’s important treatments, including medicines for lung cancer, melanoma, hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis. At MSD’s Carlow base, 120 biopharma jobs will be created to facilitate production of new immuno-oncology treatments for the global market.

In April, biotech giant Shire moved its Dublin base from Citywest to the city centre, with plans to double its employees to 300 this year. Shire’s core areas include haematology, immunology, neuroscience, ophthalmics, lysosomal storage disorders and gastrointestinal diseases.

In January, Northern Irish pharma group Almac announced plans to build a new facility in Dundalk, creating 100 jobs in the process. This will be the third Almac-owned facility in Ireland and the jobs will be created over the next two years.

More recently, the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and GE Healthcare have opened a new training centre where up to 1,500 professionals are expected to receive training annually.

As originally reported by last year, the centre features the latest technologies that will further boost biomanufacturing skills and expertise in Ireland, Europe and globally.

Last month, it emerged that up to 50 jobs are to be created at DHL’s new 40,000 sq ft transport and logistics hub in Dublin, dedicated to supporting life sciences manufacturers.

The pharmaceutical grade facility is located at Horizon Logistics Park at Dublin Airport.

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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