Response to global demand for MSD’s medicine prompts major investment in Cork and Carlow.
MSD, known as Merck in the US, has announced 330 new jobs for Carlow and Cork as part of a €280m investment in manufacturing.
The new jobs have been created as a result of increased global demand for MSD’s medicines and vaccines produced in Ireland.
‘Today, our Irish sites are involved in the production of over 50pc of MSD’s global top 20 products’
– GER BRENNAN
The investment will see both sites expand production facilities and capacity to meet that demand.
“The expansion of our presence in Ireland is a testament to the talent of our Irish employees,” said Sanat Chattopadhyay, executive vice-president of MSD and president of the company’s manufacturing division.
“In recent years, our Irish businesses have played an increasingly important role in the production of some of MSD’s most important breakthrough medicines for the global market.”
The right medicine
The announcement was made as more than 1,200 senior MSD business leaders from 50 countries gathered in Dublin for the company’s annual Europe, Middle East, Africa and Canada (EMEAC) congress.
“Sustained investment in Ireland over the last five decades has positioned MSD and our employees to play a significant role in responding to the world’s most vital, unmet health needs,” explained Ger Brennan, managing director of MSD Human Health in Ireland.
MSD in Brinny, Co Cork is an integrated site for the development, testing and manufacturing of biologics, specialising in the fermentation, purification and sterile filling of biotech products. More than 200 new hires will be needed to meet demand for work on some of the company’s important treatments, including medicines for lung cancer, melanoma, hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis.
In Carlow, MSD has plans to create 120 new roles. With a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, and the company’s first stand-alone vaccine and biologics facility outside the US, Carlow also is an important link in MSD’s network of sites, producing new immuno-oncology treatment for the global market.
“Our existing portfolio and future pipeline ensure current and future employees can operate at the cutting edge of science and technology,” Brennan explained.
“Today, our Irish sites are involved in the production of over 50pc of MSD’s global top 20 products, exporting to over 60 countries worldwide and helping lead the development of new life-changing medicines for patients, including MSD’s new treatments for cancer and hepatitis C.”
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, said that MSD’s Irish businesses have been driving big pharmaceutical innovation in recent years.
“It is particularly gratifying that this expansion and additional job creation will take place in two regional locations, thereby strengthening the Government’s efforts to ensure balanced industrial development around the country,” O’Connor said.
MSD currently employs more than 1,600 people across four sites in Ireland, in Carlow, Cork, Dublin and Tipperary. Its extensive Irish operations, encompassing manufacturing, commercial, global financial services and marketing facilities, had a turnover of €4.7bn in 2016.
The organisation has a strong legacy in Ireland that stretches back over the last 50 years, and has seen MSD invest more than $2.5bn in expanding and developing its facilities here.
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said the expansion is another jewel in Ireland’s biopharma crown.
“MSD’s decision to invest in its Irish operations across a number of regional locations further strengthens Ireland’s positioning as a global destination for manufacturing excellence in biopharmaceuticals,” said Shanahan.
“It is pleasing that MSD continues to evolve, grow and innovate from Ireland to continue to meet patient needs around the world.”
Updated, 9.23am, 30 May 2017: This article was updated to clarify that the jobs will be created in Cork and Carlow, not Cork and Dublin.