According to MSD (known as Merck in North America), the plant will support global production of vaccines and biologics.
“There will also be an expansion of warehouse and laboratory services at the site,” the firm told us in an emailed statement.
The company added: “The expansion is a result of continuing increased global demand for the company’s medicines and vaccines.”
MSD will employ 170 new staff members on-site, with manufacturing operations due to commence in 2023.
The facility joins MSD’s existing 200,000-square-foot facility in Carlow – the firm’s first stand-alone vaccine and biologics facility outside the US – where the company manufactures PD-1 inhibitor treatment Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the US market.
Ireland’s government has voiced its support of the investment, which minister for business, enterprise and innovation, Heather Humphreys, said demonstrates MSD’s commitment to Ireland’s biopharmaceutical industry.
“This new facility will be a tremendous asset to our pharma industry and will deepen the great partnership that already exists between Ireland and the company,” she said yesterday.
Martin Shanahan, CEO of Ireland’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA), agreed the investment strengthens the nation’s position in the biopharma space.
“The company’s decision is a strong endorsement of the talent and skills in Ireland and in the South East Region.
“The ability to attract highly skilled employees and develop the skillsets required through collaborative partnerships with third level institutions and Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) has helped to deepen MSD’s commitment to Ireland,” he said.