Global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is upgrading its manufacturing and laboratory facilities in Ireland to support new medicine development, IDA Ireland announced today.

The €300m capital investment in the Irish operations will provide additional capacity at the company’s sites in Grange Castle, Co Dublin, Newbridge, Co Kildare, and Ringaskiddy, Co Cork. The IDA said the development could create employment for 300 people over three years, including construction jobs in Ringaskiddy, bringing Pfizer’s Irish head count to 4,000.

A key component of the expansion includes the construction of a new development facility in Ringaskiddy to manufacture pharmaceutical compounds for use in Pfizer’s clinical trials for new drugs.

The change will move Ireland up the value chain within Pfizer’s global drug development network. While Pfizer Ireland is an important centre for manufacturing drugs that have already been approved, this new investment will involve the Irish operation in earlier phases of drug development.

“It is particularly exciting that our Ringaskiddy site has been chosen as the location to manufacture investigational compounds for our clinical trials globally and we look forward to seeing that new facility become operational,” said Dr Paul Duffy, Vice president of Pfizer Global Supply.

Pfizer is currently in late-stage trials in the race to release a Covid-19 vaccine. The company began a vaccine study in July with 44,000 volunteers and hopes to have results within weeks.

Pfizer is one of Ireland’s biggest employers and a major source of foreign direct investment going back to 1969. The company has made a cumulative capital investment of €8bn in Ireland across six locations in Cork, Dublin and Kildare. In addition to drug manufacturing, Pfizer also conducts research and development through the global biotherapeutics group at Grange Castle.