Covid-19 vaccine maker AstraZeneca has lodged plans for a $360m "next generation" active pharma ingredient (API) manufacturing facility for north Dublin.

In plans lodged with Fingal County Council by AstraZeneca subsidiary, Alexion Pharma Operations International Ltd, planning consultants for the pharma business, the PM Group said the proposal concerns the firm expanding its internal capability for late stage development and early commercial supply of small molecule APIs to meet the future growing drug pipeline.

The AstraZeneca (AZ) subsidiary proposal is to generate an additional 105 jobs when operational within the 18.5 hectare Alexion Biopharmaceutical Campus at College Business and Technology Park at Blanchardstown in Dublin 15.

Planning documents lodged with the application state that subject to planning permission, the proposed development construction is scheduled for 25 months from April of this year.

After commissioning, the proposed facility would be fully operational from the first quarter of 2026.

The documents say the new facility will comprise a new 5-storey production building and supporting facilities including 4-storey extension to labs and 4-storey extension to warehouses which will manufacture small molecule API products to meet future product pipeline needs.

APOL was acquired by AstraZeneca (AZ) in July 2021.

The acquisition facilitated AZ's entry into the area of medicines for rare diseases and enabled AZ and Alexion to further invest in the research and development of life saving medicines for their patients.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) lodged with the application states that the new build API facility will target the high value, low volume, highly potent products within the Alexion’s future portfolio.

The EIS states that the new facility "is expected to be a safe, smart, sustainable, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant factory that is flexible and expandable with a mixture of traditional batch API and continuous flow API".

The EIS states that the proposed development "will use the latest technology, ideas and digital innovation to meet the needs of the Alexion's developing portfolio and produce lifesaving medicine for patients worldwide".

It added that "this proposed facility will also significantly reduce commercialisation lead times and costs, and introduce more sustainable manufacturing processes".

The existing Alexion operational campus includes a total of 983 staff and contractor personnel and the EIS states that there are more existing personnel than previously envisaged due to the impact of the AstraZeneca acquisition of Alexion in 2021.

The AstraZeneca acquisition resulted in the relocation of 50 staff from Liffey Valley to College Park and the establishment of a global headquarters for global functions and regulatory affairs, with an additional 200 staff.

A decision is due on the application later this month.