Abbott Laboratories is to spend 85 million euros to expand its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Sligo, Ireland.

The US major says the investment will result in the creation of up to 175 "highly-skilled" jobs and is supported by IDA Ireland, the country’s investment promotion agency. The expansion will be completed in 2014 and Abbott noted that the construction will create up to 150 temporary jobs.  

The reason for the expansion is to provide additional space for manufacturing "to support Abbott’s future pharmaceutical pipeline in the key therapeutic areas of virology, oncology and nephrology". The new jobs will include roles in engineering, quality, pharmaceutical science and other science-based areas.

Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, president of global pharmaceutical operations at Abbott, said the company has had a presence in Ireland for more than 65 years and Sligo is an important part of its pharmaceutical manufacturing network. Barry O’Leary, the IDA's chief executive, noted that Abbott is "of key importance to Ireland’s life sciences sector" and is part of a strong cluster of healthcare companies in the northwest region "which is hugely important to the local economy".

Abbott employs nearly 4,000 people across Ireland.