Alexion Pharmaceuticals announces €450m expansion in Dublin

Will construct in Ireland its first biologics manufacturing facility outside the US

Alexion Pharmaceuticals will expand its Irish operations in a €450m four-year project that will see the company construct a 2,000m2 biologics manufacturing facility – it's first outside the US.

The project will create around 200 jobs at its College Park site in Blanchardstown, Dublin, bringing the company's total workforce in Ireland to almost 500 employees.

Since first entering Ireland in 2013, Alexion has invested €130m in two facilities – a vial fill-finish facility in Athlone and a global supply chain facility at College Park. Phase 1 of the College Park facility, comprising the company's global supply chain headquarters, laboratories, packaging and warehousing operations is expected to be operational by the end of this year. Approximately 560 construction workers are involved in the development of the current Athlone and College Park projects, and the planned expansion of College Park will also create more than 800 construction jobs.

This project further underscores our commitment to Ireland

Alexion has worked closely with the Department of Jobs and IDA Ireland on the development of its operations in Ireland.

Julie O'Neill, Alexion's EVP Global Operations, said: 'This project further underscores our commitment to Ireland and is enabled by our ability to recruit highly competent and professional personnel to support the production and distribution of our medicine, Soliris, and our strong pipeline of biologics medicines.'

She added: 'Alexion has a unique mission to develop life-transforming therapies for patients with severe and life-threatening ultra-rare disorders. We are already serving the very few patients in Ireland suffering from two very rare and devastating diseases; with this major expansion, our Irish operations, comprising biologics manufacturing, vial fill-finish and global supply chain, will be at the forefront of this vital work globally.'

Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland, added: 'This is one of the largest investments in healthcare in the history of the Irish state – putting an additional €450m into a site is a real statement of intent from Alexion. Alexion has rapidly grown its headcount and functional responsibility over the last year.'

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