Eli Lilly & Company is to invest €330m in a new commercialisation and manufacturing facility in Cork, Ireland.
The plant will be built at the US pharma company's Kinsale campus creating up to 200 biopharma jobs and the investment was supported by IDA Ireland, an organisation responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland.
The announcement follows the recent publication of the Action Plan for Jobs - the Irish government's wide-ranging strategy to identify and invest in key sectors to rebuild the country's economy and create new jobs.
The plans, which include developing the country's life sciences sector, were welcomed by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) and PharmaChemical Ireland.
Commenting on Lilly's new proposal, Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said: “That this world-leading company is making a substantial investment in expanding its facility in Kinsale with the creation of up to 200 permanent jobs shows what is possible in these areas.
“The government is determined to ensure that more announcements like this become real in the coming years. By implementing the Action Plan for Jobs, we can support more businesses, rebuild the economy and create the jobs we so badly need.”
The planned 240,000-square-foot facility will focus on manufacturing treatments in cancer and diabetes, and follows the completion of another biopharmaceutical manufacturing and new-product commercialisation facility at Kinsale in 2010.
Lilly's senior VP global of API and dry product manufacturing Paul Ahern described the investment as “is part of Lilly's planned growth strategy” and said it was proof that Lilly has confidence in its product pipeline.
This includes 12 molecules in phase III development, according the company's 2011 financial results, including Alzheimer's drug candidate solanezumab.
It is expected that drug could achieve double-digit billion dollar peak year sales thanks to the lack of treatments that address the underlying neuronal damage that characterises the disease.
Lilly is relying on the success of these developmental products, with generic competition set to hit the company hard over the next few years.
It has already lost patent protection on treatments such as its top-selling antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) and the cancer drug Gemzar (gemcitabine).
Meanwhile Lilly's antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Humalog (insulin lispro) for diabetes are also scheduled to lose exclusivity in 2013.