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Merck Sharp & Dohme creates 170 jobs in county Carlow

International pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharpe & Dohme is to hire 170 full-time staff for its new vaccine facility in county Carlow, Ireland

International pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharpe & Dohme is to hire 170 full-time staff for its new vaccine facility in county Carlow, Ireland.

Construction of the €200m facility began on November 3, 2008 with a sod turning ceremony lead by Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen. The construction phase will also bring 300 jobs to Carlow over the next three years.

With ongoing expansion of the company's Tipperary facility combined with the 170 people to be employed in Carlow, Merck Sharpe & Dohme's Irish workforce will grow to over 700 in the next four years.

"At a time of economic slowdown, the benefits of this €200m investment will be felt right across the Southeast region," said Cowen.

He continued: "This investment is a very significant consolidation of Ireland's leadership position as a location for biotechnology investments. Its importance should not be underestimated and it is this type of high skilled employment which Ireland can compete for successfully today."

Construction of the 65-acre site is scheduled for completion by the end of 2009 with operations commencing in 2011. The company will be seeking a variety of employees, with a requirement for science, engineering, pharmacy, microbiology, technology, IT, management, quality control, production, administration, maintenance, safety and environment staff.

Speaking in June 2008, when the planning application was submitted, Bryan Meehan, general manager at Merck Sharp & Dome said: "Merck Sharp & Dohme is in Carlow for the long-term. We have had a successful presence in Ireland for over 30 years and look forward to building on this success in Carlow. Our 170-strong Carlow workforce will play a central role in Merck Sharp & Dohme's global operations. The vaccines and other products we will formulate in Carlow could ultimately be used by millions of people across the world which is a very exciting prospect."

3rd November 2008

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