Biopharma group Alexion has announced plans for a major expansion of its Irish business.
Alexion, which is still building the first page of its planned Dublin base, said it will invest a further € 450 million to extend the facility over the next four years.
The expansion will see the US-based specialist in rare and ultra rare diseases construct its first biological manufacturing facility outside the US.
The company makes Soliris, one of the world’s most expensive drugs, which is used to treat two rare blood conditions.
The drug, which costs in the region of € 430,000 per patient per year, received approval for use in Ireland earlier this year after a protracted negotiation.
Alexion expects to create 200 jobs with the investment, nearly doubling the numbers employed in Ireland by the company since its arrival here in 2013.
Alexion’s Irish executive VP for global operations Julie O’Neill said the project “further underscores our commitment to Ireland and is enabled by our ability to recruit highly competent and professional personnel”.
Tanaiste Joan Burton welcomed the announcement and said the company brought the “miracle of hope to parents of children who have life limiting and life threatening conditions”.
Also speaking at the announcement, Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton characterised Alexion as a “wonderful company” whose founders “have fantastic passion”.
By Dominic Coyle