Jobs boost after green light for MSD vaccines and biologics facility in Carlow


Healthcare group MSD has been granted planning permission for the construction of its new facility in Carlow.

The new 13,000 sq m facility, first announced last October, will be constructed on a site adjacent to MSD's existing Carlow plant, and will focus on the production of vaccines and biologics.

It is scheduled to commence manufacturing operations in 2022, and will employ an additional 170 staff and 100 contractor staff when operational. The build phase will also see approximately 700 tradespeople employed on site, according to MSD.

The company already employs more than 400 people in Carlow, who are involved in the manufacture of vaccines and biologics in the MSD product portfolio. The existing site opened in 2008 and was MSD's first vaccines facility outside of the US.

The planning application details the construction of a new production building consisting of two production suites - a syringe-filling and inspection suite and a vial-filling suite - supporting clean utilities, as well as an expansion of a warehouse at the site.

Sanat Chattopadhyay, president of MSD's global manufacturing division, said: "The decision to further invest in Carlow is a real testament to the talent of the current Carlow team and MSD Ireland's wider employee base. This new investment reinforces MSD's commitment to Ireland, further strengthening our 50-year-strong legacy here."

Martin Shanahan, chief executive of IDA Ireland, welcomed the news that the planned expansion by MSD can now progress.

"This is an important strategic move for the company, positioning it to meet growing demand globally for its products. It is a major investment by this leading healthcare company and demonstrates a deep commitment to the Carlow site and the south-east region," he said.

MSD Ireland has been in operation for more than 50 years, and currently employs approximately 2,300 workers across five sites in Carlow, Cork, Dublin and Tipperary. In addition, the company operates substantial human health and animal businesses.

Ger Brennan, managing director of MSD Ireland (human health), said: "Over the past 10 years, MSD in Carlow has grown to play a critical role in MSD's global network of vaccines and biologics facilities. By 2022, this position will have enhanced even further." He said the continued investment would keep the Irish operations at the forefront of medical advancements.

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