STATE OF THE ART Pictured is the B2 biologics facility and Ron Taylor Center at Allergan’s Westport facility, where some of the new jobs will be located.
Pharma giant announces 63 new jobs and major investment
THE expansion of Allergan’s Westport manufacturing facility as part of the company’s €65 million investment in its Irish operations is a vote of confidence in the west, according to the Minister for Rural and Community Development.
The US pharmaceutical giant announced yesterday (Monday) that it will create 63 new ‘highly skilled jobs’ at its Westport facility as part of its €65 million capital investment programme for 2019 to facilitate the continued expansion of the company’s state-of-the-art laboratories and manufacturing campuses at Westport and in Clonshaugh in north Dublin.
The investment in Westport will lead to the creation of a new manufacturing suite at its biologics facility and an upgrade of its ocular-implant facility.
Welcoming the investment in Allergan’s Westport facility, Minister Michael Ring said the announcement was ‘further evidence’ of how the west can provide an environment for investors.
“This investment is a real vote of confidence in the western region. Allergan is a fantastic employer, and it’s great to see it further cement its presence here in Mayo.
“Speaking as someone from Westport, Allergan has had a remarkably positive impact on the town and on the region. This announcement is further evidence of how the west can provide a wonderful environment for investors and employers. I commend Allergan for putting their trust in the west of Ireland.
“This announcement will result directly in new jobs for people in Mayo. This means more people being able to live in their own communities and not having to relocate or commute longer distances for work,” the Minister for Rural and Community Development said.
The Allergan Westport facility is the largest and most complex campus in the Allergan global network having first opened its Westport plant on a greenfield site in 1977. The company currently employs 2,055 in Ireland.
The investment in Westport focuses on a number of key areas: two new manufacturing suites in its biologics facility, with the aim introducing new product formats for Allergan’s flagship product, Botox; the launch of a new product currently in development; and the completion of a new state-of-the-art microbiology and cell-based laboratory.
At its ocular implant facility, Allergan is introducing automated manufacturing processes using high-end robotics. The company says this new technology could be used to produce products that have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of common eye conditions, such as glaucoma. It is also upgrading its existing manufacturing capabilities and capacity for the introduction of new eye-care products that are due to launch in the coming years.
Mr Paul Coffey, Vice President and Plant General Manager, Allergan Westport, said the company is proud of its commitment to Westport, and he thanked local communities for their support.
“This €65 million investment further cements Ireland’s strategic role in Allergan’s global network. Continued investment of this scale builds on the €50 million investment programme in 2018 and €42 million in 2017, which allows us to apply world-class technology to Allergan’s leading innovation and product development strategy.
“We are expanding capacity to meet global demand and we are advancing our R&D capabilities to meet the needs of the future for our business. We are proud that 40 years on, we are still growing and offering valuable employment opportunities in key regions of Ireland, and we thank the communities around us for their continued support,” he said.
The investment was also welcomed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who said that it ‘reinforces the region’s deserved reputation as a location for investment and innovation’, while former Taoiseach, Mayo TD Enda Kenny also thanked Allergan for their commitment to Westport and Ireland.
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, wished Allergan continued success ‘as a visionary leader delivering innovative and breakthrough treatments to the world from their strategic operations in Ireland’.
An economic impact assessment of Allergan’s operations in Ireland, carried out by economic-advisory service EY DKM, indicates that the company’s 2019 capital investment programme will contribute €23 million to Ireland’s GDP this year and deliver €7 million in exchequer revenue.