Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced a 300 million euro investment, creating up to 300 jobs across its Irish sites.
The US drugs company is to upgrade some of its plants in Grange Castle in Co Dublin, Newbridge in Co Kildare and Ringaskiddy in Co Cork.
It will take its total workforce in Ireland to over 4,000 staff over the next two years.
Very welcome announcement from @Pfizer_Ireland today - â¬300m investment in its Irish operations & 300 new jobs. Further evidence of Irelandâs reputation for global excellence in attracting pharma & life sciences pic.twitter.com/VCzXxIdogV— MicheÃ¡l Martin (@MichealMartinTD) November 2, 2020
Pfizer, which has been in Ireland since 1969, is to upgrade the plant’s facilities and expand manufacturing and laboratory capacity.
The pharma giant is also working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
Paul Duffy, vice-president of Pfizer, said they hope to announce a working vaccine towards the end of November.
Mr Duffy said that the pandemic has been an “enormous challenge” for everyone.
He added: “Along with other scientific efforts, we are making good progress on the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, with a trial of 44,000 participants advancing well.
“If this trial proves successful we could see emergency authorisations in the US as early as the third week in November and we are already in a rolling review with the European regulator EMA (European Medicines Agency).
“Discussions are ongoing with the EU to provide vaccines.”
They are pursing a vaccine to deal with and manage the Covid-19 and that's the type of research to get us through this pandemic.Micheal Martin
He added: “We are still in development phases of the vaccine but we are cautiously optimistic based upon the results that we have seen at clinical trials.
“All going well, we will have results coming through in November with a potential of filing to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) at the end of November.
“I would expect to see the availability of the vaccine in 2021. This year will be minimal circulation but in 2021 it will start to come through.”
Taoiseach Micheal Martin welcomed the company’s investment across Ireland.
“It’s a timely move for the regions and it illustrates the resilience of the foreign direct investment sector, particularly the science sector in modern Ireland, and its contribution to Ireland’s economy and Irish society,” he said.
“In the context of Covid-19, we have noted the resilience of the foreign direct investment sector to our economy and its contribution in terms of employment and exports.
“Ireland is a centre of excellence in terms of manufacturing.
“They are pursing a vaccine to deal with and manage the Covid-19, and that’s the type of research to get us through this pandemic.”