The merger of Alkermes and Elan Corp's drug technology unit has been completed.

The new entity, which will be known as Alkermes plc, will be headquartered in Dublin. With operations in Athlone, it has some 450 employees based in Ireland and more than 1,200 employees worldwide.

The company has incorporated Elan Drug Technologies, "the profitable, world-class drug formulation and manufacturing business unit" of Elan. The latter will pocket $500 million and a 25% stake in the new Alkermes; this values the total transaction at around $1.00 billion.

The creation of Alkermes will result in "a unique, global, diversified company and a leader in CNS medications,” according to chief executive Richard Pops. “Through this transaction, we have strategically combined two highly innovative companies with proprietary technologies and important commercial products," he added.

Major manufacturing deal signed

Alkermes has also announced "a multiyear, multimillion dollar manufacturing agreement with one of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies". The agreement is expected to generate $15-$20 million in annual manufacturing revenues by 2016.

John Perry, the Irish minister of state for small business said Alkermes' decision to establish its headquarters in Ireland "is further demonstration of this country’s continued ability to attract companies". The announcement of the new contract for the Athlone facility "is an indication of its track record for successful innovation and high-quality manufacturing".

Mr Pops added that the company views Ireland "as a gateway to the European Union and global pharmaceutical market".