The new year has kicked off with some positive jobs news for Athlone, with the announcement that US firm Aerie Pharmaceuticals is to establish a facility in the town.
The company, which develops treatments for eye diseases, aims to spend more than €23 million on the plant, with the expected creation of 50 jobs.
An agreement was signed between Aerie Pharmaceuticals and the IDA on Monday for the lease of a recently constructed 30,000 square foot premises at the Business and Technology Park in Garrycastle, Athlone. Internal works on the building are planned to begin immediately.
The pharmaceutical company is involved in the discovery, development, and commercialisation of therapies for the treatment of glaucoma and other diseases of the eye.
The Athlone facility will be its first manufacturing plant, which it is hoped will be used to manufacture Aerie’s drug products Rhopressa and Roclatan, once they are cleared for use by regulators.
CEO and chairman at Aerie, Vicente Anido, said the agreement with the IDA represents “another milestone in executing our stated long-term strategy”.
“We are grateful to our IDA colleagues in Ireland for their cooperation throughout this process and the incentives that we have been granted,” he added.
Welcoming the news of Aerie’s commitment to Athlone, Senator Gabrielle McFadden said Athlone is a perfect location for such industries due to its high skill base with graduates from AIT, and its close proximity to the export market.
“This is great news for Athlone and the Midlands, and a great start to 2017. I am particularly happy to welcome Aerie Pharmaceuticals to this purpose-built IDA unit, as I was present on the day when the sod was turned for this building,” she added.
Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran said the news confirmed Athlone’s growing reputation as a “pharmaceutical hub”.
“This is great news for Athlone and the surrounding area and I look forward to the jobs that will be created by Aerie Pharmaceuticals when the plant is operational,” he said.
“What is particularly pleasing is that Aerie moved its intellectual property to Ireland in early 2015 which reflects their commitment to the region. The Athlone facility will be its first manufacturing plant and I have no doubt that the town’s existing connection to the industry was a key factor in its decision.”