At a Glance

Merck & Co. Inc, global healthcare company, recently invested €28.6m in two new facilities at their site in Cork.

Merck & Co. Inc is a global healthcare company ranked no. 8 in the world for pharmaceutical sales. Merck is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs.

In 2010, MSD completed a €220 million ($300 million) strategic vaccine facility at Carlow with the support of IDA Ireland. Merck bought the 65 acre IDA Business and Technology Park..

“Continuous innovation plays a central role in Ireland’s future as a knowledge-based economy. The harnessing of the skills and creativity of the people here in Brinny has been instrumental in the decision by MSD to base these two facilities here, representing a financial investment of €28.6 million and the provision of 70 jobs”.  Minister for Research and Innovation, Séan Sherlock TD at the official opening of two new state of the art facilities at the exciting MSD Brinny site in Co. Cork.

Company in Ireland

Over the last four decades, around €2.2 billion has been invested in Ireland by MSD, Schering Plough and Organon. MSD Ireland now employs over 2,000 people in IDA-supported facilities in Dublin, Wicklow, Carlow, Tipperary and Cork.

Ireland is a strategic location for Merck’s global pharmaceuticals and biologics supply chain. Ireland manufactures many biotechnology and pharmaceutical products for global markets, and provides strategic services such as formulation R&D, scale up process development, clinical drug trials and global business services support. MDS continues to invest in Ireland and will manufacture and support many of Merck’s new product launches in the medium term, including vaccines and new therapeutic areas.

i)    Merck, Sharp & Dohme (Ireland) Limited was established at in Co. Tipperary in 1976.  It is a large-scale plant producing active pharmaceutical ingredients for use in pharmaceutical manufacturing by Merck subsidiaries throughout the world excluding the U.S. 

In October 2006 a new project was approved involving the construction and equipping of a 200,000 sq ft facility at an estimated cost of a €100 million.  It will contain all the unit processes to manufacture final stage (Phase III) clinical trial solid dosage (tablets & capsules) for global clinical trials.  Construction is now nearing completion.

The facility will be used to manufacture launch quantities of newly approved drugs prior to their manufacture in long term supply sites.  It will also have a large R&D element involved in new process development (Process Analytical Technology and in-process measurement systems), tablet & capsule formulation development and the development of new analytical methods for each new medicine. 

(ii)    Merck, Sharp & Dohme (Human Health) Limited was established in 2004 to act as the corporate platform for a number of new activities by Merck Ireland. It is located in Pelham House, South County Dublin Business Park, Leopardstown.

This new project includes the following areas of activity:

  • Clinical Research whereby Ireland is an important base for parts of Merck’s global clinical trials
  • Regulatory Affairs where the Irish group manages key parts of Merck’s new drug approval process
  • Marketing where the Irish group has a role in the development of information material and the execution of training programmes aimed at Merck’s external partners in the healthcare sector (hospitals, clinics & doctors).

(iii)    Merck Sharp & Dohme Biologics (Ireland) Limited

MSD Biologics (Ireland) Ltd. was established in 2007. Located in Carlow, construction of its new €220 million state of the art sterile facility was completed in 2010. The 200,000 sq ft facility is due to become operational in early 2011, manufacturing vaccines and biologics for Merck’s growth markets. It will employ 170 highly skilled people.


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