Bristol-Myers Squibb has unveiled plans to construct a new biologics manufacturing facility in Ireland which will create up to 400 new jobs as part of a near $1 billion investment.

The 30,000-square metre project will house six bioreactors and a purification area as well as office and laboratory space. It will be built on the grounds of the company’s existing bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Cruiserath, Co Dublin.

B-MS said the full cost is anticipated to be “comparable to the approximately $900 million investment to construct and operationalise the company’s biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts”. Some 350-400 scientists, engineers, bioprocess operators, quality specialists and other skilled professionals are expected to work at the plant which is estimated to be operational in 2019.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the news “is a huge boost to the Irish economy”, noting that 1,000 construction jobs will also be created in the initial phase. He added that the government “has a plan to secure recovery so that Ireland can attract new jobs and investments”.

B-MS chief executive Lamberto Andreotti said the investment “reflects the strength of our business and the increasingly important role that biologic medicines will play” in the firm’s future. He noted that “for 50 years, B-MS has maintained a significant manufacturing presence in Ireland, and we look forward to building on that legacy”.