Alexion says it will add third operation in Ireland

U.S. drugmaker Alexion ($ALXN) opened its first operation in Ireland last year, creating a logistics center there. Then came plans for a vial-filling facility. Now it has announced a third project there, another to handle supply chain chores.

The maker of rare disease drug Soliris will invest about €75 million ($103,400,000) to build a 15,000-square-meter (161,000-square-foot) warehouse, packaging and office facility on a 41-acre site in West Dublin. It expects the operation to produce about 200 jobs when the first phase is completed in 2016.

The Cheshire, CT-based company last year opened offices and labs in Dublin with about 60 people to expand its supply chain operations in Europe. In February it announced it would put a vial-filling facility there. It is buying two buildings that Irish drugmaker Alkermes ($ALKS) got with its 2011 acquisition of Elan's ($ELN) drug-delivery and manufacturing unit. The buildings at a complex in Athlone have sat unused for a number of years. Alexion will reportedly have 40 people at the facility.

Part of the company's motivation, like so many others that have put operations in Ireland, is the tax benefits. During its earnings call in February, the drugmaker said that by building in Ireland and moving some intellectual property rights for Soliris and other compounds there, it will achieve a tax rate that will run 10% to 11% on a non-GAAP basis before rising in 2016 to 16% to 18%.

Tax benefits also attracted Tarrytown, NY-based drugmaker Regeneron ($REGN), which is spending $300 million to convert a former Dell computer plant in Limerick into a drug manufacturing facility slated to have about 300 workers. It's also looking at adding a fill-finish facility there and even adding another phase of work to the plant there.

- here's the announcement
- read the Belfast Telegraph story