AbbVie’s investment of €60m ($58m) will be made to its Cork site, which was opened in 2001 and currently spans almost 14,000-square-meters.
The expansion will add a new facility, as well as technology and upgrades that are expected to make the Carrigtwohill location more environmentally friendly.
Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in 2023, and manufacturing operations are set to begin in 2025.
The existing Carrigtwohill plant currently employs approximately 150 people and that number is set to expand, as 70 roles will be added with the latest investment. The new roles will be focused on sterile manufacturing, quality, and engineering positions.
The announcement arrives just before the Cork site’s 20th anniversary, though AbbVie’s presence in Ireland dates back to 1974. According to the company, it has invested approximately €177m in the Cork location since 2013.
The site is a bulk tablet manufacturing space is focused on solid and capsule formulations, creating medicines that are used in oncology and virology treatment. The site holds the capacity to produce small-scale clinical trial supply up to large-scale commercial manufacturing.
Beyond expanding the capabilities of the site, AbbVie announced that it would also begin a three-year strategic training program at the facility. The move is supported by the IDA (Industrial Development Agency), with the aim of developing workforce skills to equip them with the ability to work with ‘incoming new technologies’.
The site expansion is part of the overall manufacturing and commercial infrastructure that AbbVie possesses in Ireland, with the company employing approximately 2,600 people across the country.
Currently, the company has eight locations across Ireland, which arrived both through build outs and buy outs – with the Allergan acquisition a few years ago adding to the scale of operations in the country.
AbbVie investing more into its infrastructure in Ireland is part of a broader trend that sees many companies using the country as a hub for manufacturing in Europe.
Earlier this year, Eli Lilly announced that it would consolidate its presence on the island with a $500m build out of its Limerick site. The country’s capabilities also extend into emerging therapies, where Ireland is positioning itself as a leader in cell and gene therapy manufacture.