1,100 new jobs are to be created in Carrigtwohill in Co Cork by 2010 with a €820m investment by bio-pharmaceutical company Amgen - one of the largest investments of its kind in the history of the State.

Amgen will build process development, bulk manufacturing and fill and finish facilities at the new Cork plant. The projects will be built later this year.

More than 70% of the Amgen jobs will be for third level graduates, such as pharmacists, microbiologists, as well as chemical and process engineers.

Cork County Council will vote on rezoning the land for industrial land early next month.  Recruitment is due to begin next year and the facility is expected to be operational by 2009.

Amgen is the world leader in using DNA and molecular biology technology to make drugs to tackle cancer, chronic kidney disease and other conditions. The company employs over 14,000 people worldwide.

The company said it had considered other countries for the plant and chose Ireland due to its 'thriving biotechnology community, infrastructure to support biologics manufacturing, emphasis on education and attractive business climate', as well as the support of IDA Ireland and the Government.

'The scale of these development and manufacturing facilities from Amgen, a company with world-class R&D, a proven ability to manufacture and sell blockbuster products, is a major endorsement of Ireland and of our work to become a centre of excellence for biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing,' commented the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin.

The past ten years have seen job losses in East Cork with the closures of household names such as Irish Steel, IFI and Kodak Eastman.