Pfizer is upping its stake in Ireland with a $15.3m investment in a new R&D facility at its plant in Ringaskiddy in County Cork.

The move is a huge boost for Cork where about 550 people are still employed by the pharma giant after Pfizer sold off or shuttered three other production centers.

Ringaskiddy is a major center for active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing for Pfizer, which set up a $300m plant there in 2001 to make the actives for Viagra (sildenafil), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Norvasc (amlodipine) and several other products.