Biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca is planning to set up a next-generation active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility in Dublin to ensure its global supply network is fit for future growth.

The $360m planned investment at the Alexion Campus in College Park in Blanchardstown is expected to create about 100 highly skilled direct jobs, including scientists and engineers.

The new plant is also expected to create further indirect jobs.

The project was developed with the support and collaboration of IDA Ireland.

The new plant will allow for late-stage development and early commercial supply, adopting state of the art process technology and digital innovation that is designed to meet the needs of the company's new medicines pipeline with speed and agility.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has a large portfolio of treatments for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a Covid 19 vaccine, with several drugs under trials.

It completed its $39 billion purchase of rare disease drugs maker Alexion in July.

Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca's CEO, said he was delighted that the company is bringing this very significant investment to Dublin.

"With the support of the IDA, it will create highly skilled jobs, nurture the country's dynamic life sciences sector and allow for the development of high value-added medicines," he added.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he warmly welcomed today's announcement from AstraZeneca that it is to establish its first ever manufacturing facility in Ireland.

"In choosing Ireland as the location for its new next-generation active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility, AstraZeneca joins the very strong and successful network of global life sciences companies we have in Ireland," Mr Martin said.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said that Ireland is a world hub for life sciences.

"We've worked hard to create a welcoming environment for companies seeking to invest here and we are so happy that AstraZeneca has chosen Dublin to locate its new manufacturing facility with 100 new jobs in the IDA College Park campus in Blanchardstown as a result," he added.

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said it was great to see AstraZeneca establish its first manufacturing facility in Ireland, adding that the new plant will be a considerable addition to the well established life sciences ecosystem here.

"Competition for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is more intense than ever and all investment is hard won. This investment, creating 100 highly skilled jobs, including scientists and engineers, is most welcome and will be of substantial benefit to the local economy," he added.