The USA's Allergan is to invest $350 million to expand its facility in the west of Ireland, a move which will create 200 jobs over the next four years.
Expansion of the plant, in Westport, Co Mayo, will also result in the creation of 250 indirect jobs locally, during the construction period. The investment will enable Allergan, which employs around 900 people already in Ireland, to expand the manufacturing capacity for its blockbuster Botox (botulinum toxin type A), which is best known as a wrinkle smoother. However, it is also used for treating certain patients with urinary incontinence and for a number of other indications, including chronic migraine, certain facial spasms, cervical dystonia, excessive sweating of the armpits and the treatment of post-stroke spasticity in the hand and wrist.
Allergan's managing director in Ireland, Pat O’Donnell said "we anticipate that demand for Botox will continue to grow, fuelled by recent approvals". The firm has acquired a technology park located next to the Allergan site, "giving us the space for this expansion".
He also praised the efforts of IDA Ireland, the country’s investment promotion agency and the latter's chief executive, Barry O’Leary, noted that "Allergan already contributes significantly to the national and local economies, investing an average of US$25m capital expenditure per annum in Ireland in recent years". He added that the announcement "is a welcome endorsement of Ireland’s record with the development and manufacturing model and represents a further boost for the vibrant pharma chemical sector here".