May 2016: Shire

FDI of the Month | Sat 4 Jun | Author – Business & Finance

Shire continues to invest in Ireland and generate new jobs, evidenced by its recent announcement that it is expanding its biotechnology manufacturing capacity in Co. Meath.

Shire, the biologics manufacturer, announced recently that it plans to expand its global biotechnology manufacturing capacity over the next four years by investing $400m in Ireland to meet the rapidly growing demand for its innovative products and pipeline.

Shire will create a new biologics manufacturing campus, which it expects will lead to the creation of approximately 400 permanent jobs on a 120-acre site at Piercetown, Co. Meath. Construction of the new site will begin in mid-2016, with the site expected to be operational by mid-2019.

“Increasing our biologics manufacturing capability is fundamental to achieving our ambition of becoming the world’s leading biotechnology company focused on rare diseases and other speciality conditions,” Shire’s CEO Flemming Ornskov said. “The expansion will enable us to meet increasing product demands, support our pipeline and, ultimately, help more patients. We are delighted to be expanding our operations in Ireland, where we have strong, existing relationships. The new campus in Co. Meath will provide necessary geographic diversification and will help us serve our growing international business.”

Increasing our biologics manufacturing capability is fundamental to achieving our ambition of becoming the world’s leading biotechnology company focused on rare diseases and other speciality conditions

Employing the latest bioprocessing techniques, the facility will enable Shire to supply both clinical and commercial scale products. The roles at Shire’s new campus in Co. Meath will consist of highly skilled full-time jobs in the areas of R&D, operations, technical staff, engineering and construction.

Shire’s senior vice president of Technical Operations Tim Kelly commented: “The expansion supports our manufacturing strategy to develop and provide innovative specialty medicines for patients. Ireland is a strategically important location for Shire, providing both excellence in life science R&D and manufacturing. We already have a strong team on the ground in Ireland and believe that it is the right location for us to build a new state-of-the-art facility which will complement our existing manufacturing operations in the US.”


Acting Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said that Shire’s announcement was a huge boost for the Irish economy and for Co. Meath in particular. “The scale of the global investment being made by Shire and the creation of 400 full-time positions in Ireland, as well as over 700 additional jobs during construction, will have a major impact, and further validates Ireland’s position as a leading global location for biotechnology manufacturing and R&D.”

Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland, agreed that Ireland is an attractive location for many industries, but for the life sciences and biotechnology sectors in particular. “These are sectors in which we excel and we are very pleased that Shire is building on its existing presence here with the development of a new campus at Piercetown, Co. Meath.”

He continued: “This investment by Shire demonstrates not only IDA’s strategy of attracting biotechnology investment to Ireland but also our focus on supporting balanced regional economic development. It is also worth noting that this is the second significant investment for Meath in the past six months. The scale of this investment will have a substantial economic impact on Co. Meath and the wider mid-east region.” 

Head of Irish operations: Vincent Dunne