400 new jobs are on their way to Limerick following the announcement by pharmaceutical company Regeneron that it is expanding its operations there.

The additional roles will bring to more than 1,400 the numbers employed at the Industrial Operations and Product Supply facility in Raheen.

The expansion is a result of a decision to prepare Regeneron's plant in New York to produce a potential new antibody based treatment for Covid-19, REGN-COV2. 

"As this pandemic hit, we needed to quickly change how we do things and where we make our products," said Dan Van Plew, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of IOPS at Regeneron. 

"In order to make space in our New York facilities to accommodate our Covid-19 efforts, we needed to ramp-up capacity here in Limerick," he added. 

The new roles will be in a wide variety of areas, including commercial manufacturing, process sciences, quality assurance/control, supply chain and various support functions for scientists, chemists and technicians. 

Regeneron has been in Limerick since 2014, when it took over the old Dell factory in the city and has since invested over $1 billion in its campus which became operational in 2015. 

The 20 hectare plant is the largest bulk biologics production facility in the country. 

It is responsible for the production, packaging, labelling and supply of Regeneron medicines that are used by patients around the world. 

The announcement has been welcomed by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, both of whom visited the facility in Limerick this afternoon. 

IDA Ireland, which has supported the investment, said it was a huge boost for the country and the mid-west.

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"The company has expanded rapidly since it first chose to locate in Limerick," said Mary Buckley, Executive Director of the IDA. 

"This significant job announcement by Regeneron in a regional location is very welcome and points to Ireland's reputation as a global location of excellence for biopharmaceuticals," she added.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said today's significant jobs announcement by Regeneron is a further vote of confidence in the skills and talent of the country's workforce and provides a welcome boost to our economy. 

"Ireland continues to resonate with leading global companies for investment," he added.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said that since choosing Limerick as their home, Regeneron has gone from strength to strength. 

"Today's announcement comes as a welcome boost for Ireland and the Mid-West at a very tough time. It's a big vote of confidence in the future of the Irish economy," he stated.

Additional reporting Niamh Nolan