PPD expansion brings new jobs to Athlone

Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD ) has expanded its operations in Athlone which will bring its workforce up to 150. The expansion includes a new, state-of-the-art laboratory.

The announcement, which came yesterday (Wednesday ), means that the lab will employ some 150 people including PhD-level scientists, analytical laboratory staff, and other clinical development professionals once the expansion is finished.

PPD opened its Athlone laboratory in 2010 and worldwide employs more than 1,000 people in its global operations.

“This is great news for Athlone and the Midlands,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. “Since bringing its state-of-the-art operations to Ireland five years ago, PPD has made a major contribution to the Athlone area. The company’s ongoing expansion has brought a great boost to the area in the form of high-level jobs and I look forward to working closely with PPD as it continues to grow in Athlone. Bringing high-end jobs to the region is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and world-leading companies like PPD have a major part to play in this.”

Deputy Gabrielle McFadden also welcomed the continued growth of PPD operations in Athlone with the news it is to expand its drug testing laboratory in Athlone.

“The development confirms for me once again that the local talent and skills base in the Midlands is a big plus in attracting such companies as PPD and I know, for example, that Athlone IT has provided it with a pool of graduates over the last number of years.

“I’m also delighted to hear that PPD will employ almost 150 people at the facility once the expansion programme is complete.

“The first of Minister Bruton’s regional enterprise strategies will be rolled out in the Midlands very shortly and will look at a variety of specific job creation initiatives. Undoubtedly, the region’s talent base will be a central plank in these plans,” she said.

David Johnston, PhD, executive vice president of global laboratory services at PPD, said: “The expansion of our GMP laboratory represents PPD’s ongoing investment toward continued growth of our operations in Ireland in order to offer enhanced service capabilities to our growing client base in this region and throughout the world.

“In addition, Ireland offers a business-friendly climate, highly skilled workforce through its close proximity to the Athlone Institute of Technology and strong support from the Irish Government, particularly IDA Ireland.”

PPD’s Athlone campus also includes a dedicated global clinical supplies facility, which offers packaging, labeling, and storage to support clinical trials.

The news of the PPD expansion comes as biopharmaceutical company Alexion announced that 40 staff will be moving into their new Monksland facility in the coming months. The US firm are opening a vial fill facility, and on top of the 40 positions already filled are also hiring for additional roles in Athlone.

Up to 30 new jobs could also be created in Roscommon town, with the opening of a manufacturing facility for a medical implant device supplier in the IDA Business Park.

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