€20m boost and 40 jobs for Athlone as two biotech players develop ex-Elan facilities

3 Feb 20142 Shares

Former Elan buildings in Athlone, Co Roscommon, which stood unused in recent years are to get a welcome boost – 40 new jobs are to be created by Alexion after it agreed to purchase the buildings from Alkermes. Alkermes itself is to invest some €20m in developing the site.

Biopharma player Alexion is to create the jobs at a new vialling facility located in two buildings on Alkermes’ site in Athlone.

The purchase of the buildings is expected to conclude this year.

Meanwhile, Alkermes, which raised US$250m recently through a share offering in New York, said it is to invest about €20m over three years to enhance the state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facility in Athlone.

The company, which acquired Elan’s drug technology business in 2011 and moved its headquarters to Ireland, said it is making new investments in the Athlone site to strengthen operations and position the facility for future growth.

A spokesperson told Siliconrepublic.com that Alkermes employs 400 people at the plant. “Alkermes' investment planned over the next number of years will modernise the existing plant to allow the company to focus primarily on the manufacture of newer, advanced pharmaceutical product lines.”

It said the investment had been bolstered by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc’s recent purchase of two Alkermes buildings in Athlone, which have not been in operation for an extended period of time.  

“The business-friendly government, accommodating community, and outstanding team of people at the Athlone site provide tremendous support to Alkermes in Ireland,” said Declan O’Connor, general manager of Alkermes’ manufacturing facility in Athlone.

“We look forward to enhancing our presence in Athlone, continuing to make a positive contribution in Ireland, and are delighted to have been able to facilitate the entry of a new pharmaceutical company to the country.”

Lab image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service He was recipient of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and Siliconrepublic.com has been awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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