Westport got the great news this morning that some 200 new jobs will be created by pharmaceutical giant Allergan as it invests €350m in its Mayo site to expand R&D and manufacturing capabilities.
The investment in Westport will primarily enable Allergan to expand the manufacturing capability for Botox (botulinum toxin type A) and to develop a manufacturing base for the next generation of biologic products in the Allergan pipeline.
It will also support expansion of manufacturing and development activities across the other franchises within the Allergan portfolio.
The expansion will result in the creation of about 200 new jobs at the Westport site over the next four years and an estimated 250 indirect jobs locally during the construction period.
Allergan currently employs more than 900 people in Ireland, primarily in manufacturing and development, as well as financial services and customer support.
“This is a really positive day for Allergan, for our employees and for the local community," said Pat O’Donnell, managing director, Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland.
“This investment underscores the strategic importance of the Westport site within the Allergan manufacturing network. Based on Allergan’s present strategic plans, we anticipate that demand for Botox will continue to grow, fuelled by recent approvals of the product for the treatment of neurogenic detrusor overactivity and the treatment of chronic migraine in many countries around the world."
O’Donnell explained that the Allergan board has approved the acquisition of the technology park located next to the Allergan site to host the expansion.
“I would like to recognise the work of the IDA and local agencies for having the vision to develop the technology park and for agreeing to our acquisition of these facilities, which will allow us to meet our current and future growth plans."
Allergan anticipates that detailed design and planning work will commence in early 2012. While the acquisition of the technology park provides the site for the new biologics manufacturing facility, it also provides ample space to allow the site to further grow its development capability.
“Allergan’s expansion of their Irish operation is a significant vote of confidence in our country," Taoiseach Enda Kenny said.
“Developments like this will help us on the path to economic recovery. Allergan’s Westport facility is an important strategic site in their network and contributes more than 50pc of global revenues from a range of products manufactured here.
"The expansion of this facility is a much-needed boost for the region and will bring further high quality jobs to the West of Ireland. The IDA is to be commended for their work in this area. The Government’s top priority is jobs and we will continue to focus on policies that support jobs and enterprise."
High-tech jobs bonanza
IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary said Allergan already contributes significantly to the national and local economies, investing an average of US$25m capital expenditure per annum in Ireland, in recent years.
“In addition to excellence in manufacturing and consistent with IDA strategy, the Westport site has increased its involvement in the late-stage development of new products.
“With the right policies, and a commitment to supporting R&D investment in Ireland, we can ensure that the pipeline of such announcements from the healthcare sector will continue," O’Leary said.
The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement last week by Cook Medical, which is investing €16.5m in an R&D operation in Limerick, where it employs 650 people.
This morning, professional services giant Accenture revealed that 100 new jobs were to be created in Dublin. The company plans to hire graduates and experienced specialists in Java, SAP, cloud computing, mobile and workplace collaboration technologies.