Pfizer blueprints €1B site in Ireland as industry's local investment spree rolls on: report

After a torrent of investments this year, Ireland is reportedly getting yet another biopharma boost courtesy of one of the industry’s biggest players.

COVID-19 juggernaut Pfizer aims to plug more than 1 billion euros into a new biomanufacturing facility at its Grange Castle site in Dublin, according to Irish news outlet The Business Post. Pfizer, which already employs 4,000 people in the country and more than 1,700 at Grange Castle alone, is reportedly in advanced planning stages for the new facility, the Post said.

While specific details remain under wraps, the project would almost certainly lead to a major boost in Pfizer’s Grange Castle headcount.

Pfizer did not comment directly on plans for the new Irish plant when Fierce Pharma reached out for comment. A company spokesperson said Pfizer is "constantly assessing our manufacturing network to ensure we can continue to bring our breakthroughs to patients."

Under the reported plan, Pfizer would kick off construction on the new Grange Castle plant in 2023’s second quarter, with the goal to wrap up the project by the end of 2026, the Post added, citing people close to the talks.

Pfizer already has a major presence in Ireland, where the company also operates sites in Kildare and Cork. On its website, the company notes it’s invested more than $8 billion in its Irish operations since 1969.

The Big Pharma is in good company there, too, following a spate of industry activity across the Emerald Isle this year.

Last month, AbbVie said it would plug 60 million euros into its site on the outskirts of Cork, paving the way for a new facility to bolster the company’s aesthetics business with 70 new hires across sterile manufacturing, quality control and engineering roles.  

Earlier this summer, meanwhile, AstraZeneca said it was pouring another 65 million euros into its next-generation manufacturing plant in Dublin, plus another Alexion plant in Ireland 120 kilometers west in Athlone.

Still, it hasn’t all been cheery for Irish pharma workers this year. In mid-October, Novartis—engaged in a sweeping review of its global operations—telegraphed plans to cut about 400 jobs at its global service center at Elm Park in Dublin by the end of 2024.