Tipperary hurler Noel McGrath spoke at the jobs announcement about the importance of healthy living and exercise.
Two hundred new jobs have been announced for Cashel in a €14m investment.
The new company, Rockshel Life Sciences, will operate in the former Sun Pharma plant in the town which closed two years ago with the loss of one hundred jobs.
The pharmaceutical company will begin production of an extensive range of nutritional, herbal and health supplements in May 2018. The natural products range of vitamins, supplements and dietary minerals will be manufactured on-site in the form of capsule, tablets, film coated tablets, sugar coated tablets, sachet and soft gelatine capsules under the brand name of Rockshel.
It's the company's second Co Tipperary operation as it also took over over the former Suir Pharma plant in Clonmel and is now trading as Alby Pharma.
Announcing the Cashel investment, Independent TD Michael Lowry confirmed that he introduced the new owners to the site and after complex negotiations, it was officially purchased in January 2018 by AG Infoceuticals Technology Limited, a privately-owned investment company with Irish, UK and UAE investors.
The €14 million investment includes site purchase, renovation, plant fit-out and the purchase of production lines and equipment. Site-works upgrade and renovations have already commenced on the 40,000sq ft plant.
Deputy Lowry commented, “This is a hugely significant and exciting development for Cashel. Recruitment is already underway within the catchment areas of Cashel, Thurles District and Tipperary Town area. Fifty positions are to be created immediately across areas of manufacturing, R&D, technical, analytical, quality and support sectors, with a further 150 positions to be filled over the next 24 months.
Rockshel will manufacture its products under the highest Pharmaceutical Standards. Rockshel will become a niche player in the food supplement market by intensifying its R&D and innovation in the plant extract area.
Joint ventures are already secured with world class nutritional and herbal companies and Canadian and American agreements are also underway. Extensive research is ongoing with German, French and Italian Healthcare companies.
The site will have ultramodern laboratory facilities to further research collaborations with some of Ireland’s most prestigious universities in the area of herbal extraction.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Azzam Hussein, co-founder and CEO praised Deputy Michael Lowry for the enormous role he has played in bringing the project to Tipperary. He thanked Mr. Lowry for his consistent encouragement and support.
“He has been instrumental in making this project happen for Tipperary. I also wish to thank him for arranging to meet with Minister Heather Humphrey’s in her Department of Enterprise and Employment Office. The Minister was very enthusiastic about the project and assured us of every assistance. We look forward to an official visit from the Minister in the weeks ahead.”
Dr. Hussein said, “The project will be on par with multinational players in the area of food supplement speciality and we look forward to expanding our operation to more than 40 countries within three years. There is no doubt that Ireland is continuing to flourish with dozens of new businesses opening, but this area is niche, and the Irish market has not yet tapped into its full potential.”
He added, “Our board members are increasingly looking for innovative approaches to bring products to market effectively and efficiently. Our flexible project team models, collaborative approach, and proprietary research methods will increase the level of collaboration and allow us to respond quickly to our clients’ needs while maintaining our focus on high-quality deliverables.
Rockshell will be a full-service Contract Research Organisation providing research services for the biotech, life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. Our clients will have dramatically improved services and productivity and maximum value of R&D investments by obtaining fast, high-quality results leading to better quality and values. As part of a strategic approach, Rockshel expects to manage numerous projects in the Innovation Centre during 2018-2019 with potential global expansion.
There is a certain need of re-engineering the marketing mix: creating and implementing a strategy in which the desire for Natural remedies and plant extract medicines knowledge incites action on behalf of the patients and healthcare professionals; that is, companies should refocus their marketing message from health and safety point of view for patient satisfaction.”
Dr. Hussein concluded “The company’s mission statement is clear… Rockshel will do everything Better, Faster, Simpler and Saferthan their competitors”.
The new operation was warmly welcomed by County Tipperary Chamber president TJ Kinsella and chairman of Cashel-Tipperary Municipial Council.
Among the guests speakers were Tipperary hurler Noel McGrath and former rugby international Denis Leamy who spoke about the value of supplements and nutrients to sportsmen and women.