'We feel at home here': Regeneron to rapidly expand to 1,000 jobs in Limerick

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Senator Kieran O’Donnell, Niall O’Leary, Regeneron, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Michael Noonan and Michael Lohan, IDA at the announcement

Senator Kieran O’Donnell, Niall O’Leary, Regeneron, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Michael Noonan and Michael Lohan, IDA at the announcement

THE number of people working at Regeneron’s plant in Limerick on a full-and-part time basis is set to top 1,000 people.

As part of ambitious plans unveiled this Wednesday, the biopharmaceutical firm is to invest over €84m ($100m) in building a second complex adjacent to the former Dell factory in Raheen as it continues to ramp its operation.

Not only will this bring 300 new permanent jobs, the ambitious building proposal will also see 250 temporary construction staff employed to build new manufacturing suites, with the company’s rapid expansion described as “nothing short of phenomenal” by Senator Kieran O’Donnell.

The move by Regeneron will see it’s footprint in Limerick expand to over 500,000 square feet, meaning Limerick has one of the largest biologics manufacturing facilities worldwide.

And all this means that the permanent staff numbers at Regeneron – which e develop drugs for people with serious medical complaints – will grow to 800, with over 250 temporary staff on site.

“This is a fantastic news story for Limerick. I really want to compliment Regeneron and for all involved in this. It means it will be the most modern plant of its type in the world. What we have in Regeneron here is a company which is a world leader in life-saving drugs with a large research and development and manufacturing facility – and one which is expanding,” Mr O’Donnell said.

The new jobs will be high-end specialist positions in commercial manufacturing, process sciences, quality assurance, control and validation, plus various other support functions.

The latest jobs news brings the total investment by Regeneron locally to €636m ($750m) since it opened in Limerick.

Fine Gael senator Maria Byrne has also welcomed the news, saying: "This announcement is a very significant announcement for Limerick and proof our infrastructure and talented workforce are attractive to big firms.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was on hand to formally welcome the announcement, alongside Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

“Regeneron’s decision to expand so significantly is testament to the talent pool and attractive business environment available to companies in Ireland. This planned further expansion by Regeneron in Limerick is a significant contribution to the rejuvenation of the region,” the Taoiseach said.

Ms Fitzgerald added: “I am delighted to see the great progress made to date giving rise to further substantial investment and additional jobs to be created in Limerick. It is great news for Limerick and the wider region.”

Dan Van Plew, the executive vice president and general manager of industrial operations and product supply at Regeneron said: “Gut feel is a large portion of any site selection. When we picked Limerick years ago, we simply felt good about the community, universities and people. A few years and a lot of experience later, I can now confidently say I know Limerick is a place where you can build and thrive as a biotech.

"We are proud of what has happened here and the vast majority of this work has been completed by people who come from Munster.

“These folks built, validated and began production in a way I’d put up against any other team on the planet. We feel at home here and the way we have been welcomed has made our growth and investment rewarding on the most personal levels.”