The new 13,000 square metre facility, first announced last October, will be constructed on a site adjacent to MSD’s existing Carlow plant and will focus on the production of vaccines and biologics. It is scheduled to commence manufacturing operations in 2022 and will employ an additional 170 staff and 100 contractor staff when operational.  The build phase will also see approximately 700 tradespeople employed on site.   


MSD already employs over 400 people in Carlow and is involved in the manufacture of multiple vaccines and biologics in the MSD product portfolio. The existing site opened in 2008 and was MSD’s first vaccines facility outside of the US. 


The planning application details the construction of a new production building consisting of two production suites – a syringe filling and inspection suite and a vial filling suite – supporting clean utilities as well as an expansion of warehouse at the site.


Speaking at a ceremony to mark the commencement of the construction phase, Sanat Chattopadhyay, President, MSD Global Manufacturing Division, stated that, “Due to increased global demand for MSD’s medicines and vaccines, our company is investing significantly in expanding our manufacturing and supply capabilities. The construction of a second manufacturing facility at the site of our existing operation in Carlow is part of this exciting investment.  The decision to further invest in Carlow is a real testament to the talent of the current Carlow team and MSD Ireland’s wider employee base. This new investment reinforces MSD’s commitment to Ireland, further strengthening our 50-year strong legacy here.  Ireland has been a gracious and supportive host for MSD for many years, and we anticipate doing business here for many years in the future.”


Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland said: “It’s great news that this planned expansion by MSD can now progress. This is an important strategic move for the company, positioning it to meet growing demand globally for its products. It is a major investment by this leading health care company and demonstrates a deep commitment to the Carlow site and the South East Region. MSD is a valued employer in Ireland and contributes substantially to the economy. I wish the company continued success.”


Karin Shanahan, SVP, Global Biologics & Sterile Operations, MSD said “We are delighted to build this state of the art expansion at our site in Carlow.  Carlow is a site that has demonstrated strong performance as they have steadily grown to become a key site in our network.  I am confident that Carlow will continue to deliver outstanding performance that will benefit our patients receiving these important medicines and vaccines.”


Ger Brennan, Managing Director, MSD Ireland (Human Health) said, “Over the past 10 years, MSD in Carlow has grown to play a critical role in MSD’s global network of vaccines and biologics facilities – by 2022 this position will have enhanced even further. The continued development of, and investment in, our Irish facilities serves to keep us at the forefront of scientific and medical advancements and helps us achieve our main goal of getting innovative new medicines and vaccines to patients as quickly as possible.”


MSD Ireland has been in operation for over 50 years, and currently employs approximately 2,300 employees across five sites in Carlow, Cork, Dublin and Tipperary.  In addition, the company operates substantial Human Health and Animal Businesses.