Up to 70 new jobs are to be created at Merck’s Cork facility after two new R&D facilities were opened this week.

A new speciality membrane facility (SMF) and chromatography media facility (CMF) opened by pharmaceutical company Merck in Cork will see the creation of new jobs in the region, with up to 70 new roles expected “in the next 18 months”.

Based in Carrigtwohill, the closure of a similar facility in the US means that 90pc of the company’s entire membrane manufacturing, used as filtration for Merck’s products, will come form Cork, according to Martin McAuliffe, MD of the Cork operation.

“To get another investment in that area is very important to us, because it builds on what we already have here, and the second investment, then, which is chromatography media facility — that’s a new area for Cork,” he said.

“That’s important, because it’s a new departure for us and it gets us into a new area of the business that we can grow over time,” said McAuliffe, with the company’s R&D team set to expand significantly.

Roles in general manufacturing, R&D, engineering, chemistry, microbiology and quality assurance are being created. This will add to the already 700 people employed at Merck’s Cork operation, with 400 construction workers to be employed to build the two specialist centres.

Merck Jobs Cork – 70 new jobs with €55 million investment