Shire starting on $400M biologics plant that will add 400 jobs

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Shire's new biologics plant in near Dublin in Ireland is slated to be complete in 2019.

With approval from local officials in Ireland now in hand, Shire said work on a $400 million biologics plant can begin.

The rare disease drugmaker announced today that with the final planning step complete, it will begin recruiting for the 400 jobs the new plant is expected to require.

“We are pleased to have met this important milestone as we move forward in preparation to start building our new manufacturing plant,” Tim Kelly, Shire senior VP of biologics, said in a statement.

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The construction on the facility, which will be able to produce clinical through commercial scale products, is expected to begin shortly and be complete in 2019. It is being built on a 120-acre site in Piercetown, County Meath, about 20 miles from Dublin.

Shire is a much larger company than it was when it announced the the plant last spring. In June it completed its $32 billion deal to acquire Baxalta. Now the company is in the process of merging Baxalta into its operations.

CEO Flemming Ornskov said in August that Shire now believes it can cut about $700 million in annual savings from the combined companies instead of the $500 million it initially promised investors. He said that about 20% will come from manufacturing as the company eliminates redundancies and finds ways to leverage the drugmakers' combined scale of operations.

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