Regeneron clears roadblock for new plant in Irish tax haven

Regeneron SVP Dan Van Plew

Growing Regeneron ($REGN) is free to move ahead with a project to grow its manufacturing network now that an interest group has pulled its appeal. The Tarrytown, NY-based company will continue forth with its €220 million plans to revamp a former Dell plant in Ireland, making room to flesh out its product line beyond blazing eye treatment Eylea.

As the Limerick Leader reports, Irish heritage body An Taisce has withdrawn its objections over the site, which stemmed from traffic and parking concerns. After a meeting in Dublin last week, the two parties are working out sustainable transport solutions that minimize car dependency, and Regeneron is now free to begin the major piece of the investment that will create 300 jobs by 2016.

Regeneron SVP Dan Van Plew told the Leader he is "delighted with the available talent in Limerick, the progress made thus far on the preliminary portion of the proposed development, and the great national and regional response we have had to our investment plan for the Limerick facility."

The former computer plant, once converted, will serve as Regeneron's first manufacturing site outside the U.S., and it's one that will bring the company tax benefits. Pharma companies are flocking to Ireland in droves to take advantage of the country's tax-advantaged status, with Regeneron officials acknowledging last month on a conference call that that's part of the new plant's appeal. Drugmakers like Horizon ($HZNP), Actavis ($ACT) and Perrigo ($PRGO) have all snapped up Irish companies within the past year, and Alexion ($ALXN) sent shares soaring in January on news that domiciling its technical operations there would permanently lock in the low tax rate.

Courtesy of Regeneron

Helping fund Regeneron's own expansion are Eylea sales, which have raced ahead at breakneck pace since the drug's U.S. launch in late 2011. The treatment beat a string of analyst forecasts on the way to generating $1.41 billion in 2013 sales, and Regeneron and partner Bayer are trying to keep that going: The pair is currently testing a slew of potential additional indications in clinical trials.

- get more from the Limerick Leader

Special Report: Top 15 Drug Launch Superstars - Eylea - Regeneron and Bayer HealthCare