Merck launches new membrane plant in Ireland, opening new jobs

Satellite image of Ireland

Merck ($MRK) recently unveiled a new manufacturing and R&D facility in Carrigtwohill, County Cork, Ireland that represents a $62 million investment and the creation of up to 70 new positions. 

The specialty membrane facility will take over all development of membrane work for the German drug company in the wake of the closing of a plant in the U.S.,” Martin McAuliffe, the company’s site leader, told the Irish Times.

“We are adding R&D capability to develop and scale up,” he said. “We also do antibody development onsite.”

Merck didn’t respond to a FiercePharmaManufacturing request about details concerning the closure of the U.S. plant.

McAuliffe added that the small number of R&D employees at the facility now will “grow substantially” in the next few years. There are currently about 700 staff at the Cork site. 

“In the past, scale-up and development of new membranes would be done in the U.S.,” he said. “We have a facility there that’s closing at the end of the year.”

The recent expansions by Merck in Ireland stand in stark contrast to the deep cuts the company made three years ago when it closed a plant in Rathdrum and trimmed jobs at its API plant in Brinny.

- here’s the Irish Times story