Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced plans to expand its biologics manufacturing capacity by building a large-scale facility in Ireland.

The new manufacturing facility in Cruiserath, County Dublin, will produce multiple therapies for the biopharmaceutical company's growing portfolio of approved and investigational biologic medicines in therapeutic areas including oncology, virology and immunoscience.

Covering 30,000 square meters, the facility will house six 15,000-liter bioreactors and a purification area as well as office and laboratory space. It will be built on the grounds of the company's existing bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.

The full cost of the facility is anticipated to be about $900 million, matching the company's investment in its biologics manufacturing plant in Devens, Massachusetts.

When completed, around 350 to 400 scientists, engineers, bioprocess operators, quality specialists and other skilled professionals are expected to work at the Cruiserath facility. Construction is expected to take approximately four years, with the facility becoming operational in 2019.

Bristol-Myers Squibb said that biologic medicines are becoming increasingly important tool in the treatment of serious diseases and comprise more than half of the company's research and development pipeline.

"Our investment in this new facility reflects the strength of our business and the increasingly important role that biologic medicines will play in Bristol-Myers Squibb's future," commented Lamberto Andreotti, CEO of the company.

"For 50 years, Bristol-Myers Squibb has maintained a significant manufacturing presence in Ireland, and we look forward to building on that legacy through this significant expansion of our manufacturing capability." Andreotti added.