Pfizer has announced plans to invest 190 million euros to set up a new biologics facility in Ireland, which will create 100 “high quality” jobs over three years.

The new plant, which will be built at Shanbally, Co Cork on a 30 acre site adjacent to Pfizer’s existing facility in Ringaskiddy, and will be ready for business by the end of 2009. In addition, the investment, which is supported by Industrial Development Agency Ireland, will result in up to 500 construction and service jobs “during the peak of building activity”.

Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheal Martin, noted that this is the first time Pfizer has placed its internal biopharmaceutical clinical production and process development activities outside the USA. He added that the decision to place “such a sophisticated and technologically advanced operation here is a significant endorsement of Ireland’s wealth of talent and expertise.”

Minister Martin concluded by saying that “the success of Pfizer’s operations here has placed Ireland in the enviable position of winning this much-sought-after investment against strong competition internationally”.

Nat Ricciardi, president of Pfizer Global Manufacturing, said the firm chose Cork “because of our very positive experiences in the region over many years and we are confident that its implementation will be seamless and that the innovative and highly skilled people we need will be there for us”. He noted that the new facility complements the establishment of Pfizer’s Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Centre unit at the end of 2007, adding that “our aim is to gain access to the best science inside and outside our walls, and the new Shanbally facility will ensure that we can produce the product for clinical trials”.

Pfizer is looking to secure a top five global position in biotherapeutics in the next eight years, and its pipeline in that field consists of 86 projects in discovery and 26 in preclinical/clinical development, spanning eight therapeutic areas.