More than 800 jobs will be created by Eli Lilly as part of a new €400m investment into Ireland as part of its global expansion.
The pharmaceutical giant has announced that the funding will be put into building a new facility in Limerick.
If it secures planning approval, the facility will need 500 people in the construction phase, and will employ 300 pharma workers when finished.
Planning for the site, at Raheen Business Park, is due to be submitted in the coming weeks.
The new facility will expand the company’s manufacturing network for biologic active ingredients, support increased demand for its existing products, and play a key role in bringing Lilly’s clinical pipeline — including its Alzheimer’s portfolio — to patients around the world.
The proposed project is expected to create new jobs for skilled engineers, scientists, and operations personnel who, the company says, will use the latest biologics manufacturing technology to produce “lifechanging treatments that patients need to address health challenges”.
Eli Lilly has been operating in Ireland since 1978 and currently has more than 2,500 employees at a manufacturing campus at Kinsale, a global business services centre at Little Island in Co Cork, and a commercial team dispersed across the country.
Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar said: “This is fantastic news for Limerick, and indeed the entire region.
Senior vice president and president of manufacturing operations Edgardo Hernandez said: “Over the past 40 years, we have continued to invest in Ireland in part because of supportive government policies that value life science innovation.
"This new Lilly campus in Limerick will allow us to expand our capacity to make innovative new medicines that can help treat some of the world’s most serious illnesses.
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said the investment is “very welcome news” for the Mid-West region.
“The decision to significantly expand its footprint into the region demonstrates the confidence Lilly has in Ireland and the region’s strong talent pool," he said.
Eli Lilly was, last May, named the Cork Chamber Company of the Year.
The company’s five decades in Cork and its contribution to the economy were recognised by the region’s business community.
Its belief in the region was reinforced in 2010 when it picked Little Island as the location as the main office for its new Global Business Solutions (GBS).
The news of Eli Lilly’s expansion will be an extra boost in Limerick’s fortunes. A considerable amount of money is currently being invested in the city and surrounding areas.
The city’s €200m Opera Square development, which is well under way, is expected to create 3,000 jobs, and Edwards Lifesciences recently announced 250 jobs at its new Limerick plant over the next few years.
There are also likely to be more construction jobs as well as 20 full-time jobs if a €9m plan by Limerick’s Absolute Hotel to build 28-short stay accommodation units gets planning permission.