Yet more good news for the Irish biopharmaceutical industry has come with the announcement that Eli Lilly is to invest 330 million euros in building a new facility in Cork.

The investment will expand Lilly's existing site in Kinsale and when fully operational, the plant will be home to around 200 "highly-skilled employees". In addition, a further 300 construction jobs will be created on the site during building works.

The 240,000-square-foot biopharmaceutical commercialisation and manufacturing facility "will further enhance the company’s ability to bring treatments for illnesses such as cancer and diabetes to patients worldwide", Lilly said. This is the second large investment the firm has made at its Kinsale site in recent years; in 2006, the company announced a 300 million euro investment in the area, which came on-stream in 2010.

Ed Canary, general manager of the Kinsale site, heralded "the excellent performance record, the talent of the workforce, and the support from IDA Ireland", the country's investment promotion agency.  He added that "in the past five years, "we have hired and trained some highly talented people and now have a technical talent base and capability in biopharmaceutical commercialisation and manufacturing that makes us a very attractive company".

2012 has seen a lot of big US firms increase their investment in Ireland. Both Abbott and Allergan have announced major expansion plans for their operations in the west of the country.