- Merck & Co., known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, is building a second manufacturing facility at an existing site in Carlow, Ireland, and anticipates creating 170 jobs in the process.
- Recruitment for the new facility will begin immediately, with operations expected to start in 2023. Merck employs more than 2,000 people in Ireland, according to a Tuesday statement from IDA Ireland, the country's inward investment promotion agency.
- In May 2017, Merck said it would invest 280 million euros (about $300 million) into production facilities in Carlow and Ireland's Cork county, as well as add 330 more jobs across those locations. More recently, the pharma announced plans to create 350 new jobs at its MSD Biotech site in Dublin.
At the time, Merck explained that its 280 million euro investment was a result of higher demand for the products it makes in Ireland.
The reason's behind Wednesday's announcement were much the same.
"The expansion is a result of continuing increased global demand for the company’s medicines and vaccines. The new facility will focus on the production of vaccines and biologics and there will also be an expansion of warehouse and laboratory services at the site," a Merck spokesperson told BioPharma Dive via email.
The spokesperson noted too that the new facility is in addition to the expansion of the existing Carlow site, which manufactures Keytruda (pembrolizumab) among other products. The site opened in 2008 and was Merck's first stand-alone vaccine and biologics facility outside the U.S.
Keytruda demand is climbing, with sales in the second quarter reaching $1.7 billion, up 89% year over year, and approvals in 12 indications across eight tumor types in the states. Outside the U.S., Keytruda makes up about 13% of Merck's pharmaceutical sales.
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, said MSD's new investment "greatly strengthens Ireland’s position as a global destination for manufacturing excellence in vaccines and biopharmaceuticals."