A €55m investment in Merck’s Cork facility will position the site at the centre of the pharma giant’s global operations and ensure its strategic importance to the company.
Merck yesterday officially unveiled two new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and research and development facilities at its base in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.
The investment expands the capabilities of the site and centralises it in the company’s global operations, said Merck Cork managing director, Martin McAuliffe.
The investment, he added, is split into two areas, both of which are significant for the site.
“It’s very significant; it’s a really important day for us,” said Mr McAuliffe.
“We’re a centre of excellence for membrane manufacturing in the company.
"So, about 90% of all the membrane that’s used worldwide in Merck, which goes into filtration products, is produced and shipped from this facility, so, to get another investment in that area is very important to us, because it builds on what we already have here, and the second investment, then, which is chromatography media facility — that’s a new area for Cork.
“That’s important, because it’s a new departure for us and it gets us into a new area of the business that we can grow over time.”
Seventy jobs, across a range of functions, will be created as a result of the investment.
“We’re expecting to create somewhere in the region of between 60 and 70 new positions, and those will be in the areas of general manufacturing, engineering, chemistry, microbiology, quality assurance and some R&D positions,” said Mr McAuliffe.
“Some of those positions are already onboard and we’ll be hiring additional people in the months ahead.”
The roles will be filled in the coming 18 to 24 months.
One major development is the significant upscaling of the site’s R&D facilities.
A small number of R&D staff are currently employed at the site, but this is set to grow substantially in the coming years.
“In the past, scale-up and development of new membranes would be done in the US, and we have a facility there that’s closing at the end of the year, with this new investment in Cork, and so the scale-up of new products will now happen on-site, as well, so that’ll be very significant for us, from an R&D perspective,” said Mr McAuliffe.
The chromatography facility will see the Cork site become a substantially larger supplier to pharma companies.
Close to 400 contractors were employed during the construction of the facilities.
Merck currently employs 700 staff at its Cork site.
Opening of Merck @Merck_lifesci state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D
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