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400 new pharma factory jobs on the way

DUBLIN is in line for 400 new permanent jobs in the pharmaceuticals sector with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) planning to build a large-scale factory.

The firm said a further 1,000 temporary construction jobs will be created during the development of the site at Cruiserath, Dublin 15.

BMS estimates that it will invest around $900m (€722m) in the plant.

Workers at the factory will make what are known as biologics - drugs made from living materials rather than chemicals.

Biologics are seen as an important emerging technology in the pharmaceutical sector, according to Matt Moran of pharmaceuticals representative group PharmaChemical Ireland They make up more than half of BMS's research and development pipeline.

The Irish pharmaceuticals sector has been rocked in recent years by the so-called 'patent cliff', where a number of drugs saw their patents expire, leading to generic competition flooding the market and causing a fall in the value of Irish pharmaceutical exports.

But Mr Moran from PharmaChemical Ireland said the BMS announcement shows the sector has now moved beyond the patent cliff. "The IDA role in winning this investment is a sign of [the sector's] growing importance."