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AstraZeneca invests "tens of millions" into Cheshire, UK manufacturing site

Published on 29/08/17 at 09:16am

AstraZeneca has announced plans to invest a multi-million sum into its £150 million facility in Macclesfield, Chesire, UK – a move which the company said is “part of our ongoing investment in the UK”.

While undisclosed, the sum is thought to be equivalent to tens of millions of pounds.

The £150 million facility is used to produce the company’s breast cancer drugs, including Zoladex, which has seen its R&D efforts transferred to AZ’s laboratories at its Alderley Park site in Cambridge.  The Chesire facility currently employs 300 staff and is part of a larger 1,800-strong campus.

An official announcement on the plans is set to be made by Mene Pangalos, leader of the company’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit in Birmingham this week to coincide with government-backed proposals made by Oxford University Professor Sir John Bell to boost the UK life sciences industry.

Like many other companies with an established footprint in the UK, AstraZeneva is still finding it difficult to make such manufacturing investments with any degree of confidence as Brexit negotiations plough on with no indication of clarity on what to expect in the space.

In light of this situation, Andy Evans, who serves as the Head of Operations at the Macclesfield site and Chairman of the ABPI’s Medicines Manufacturing Partnership, has called for the government to commit to the establishment and £140 million funding of four medicines manufacturing excellence centres across the UK.

Arguing that such centres would create highly skilled jobs and would boost areas including small molecule processing, advanced therapy production and diagnostics and packaging, Evans said: “The UK is already one of the best places in the world to research and develop exciting new medicines for hard-to-treat diseases, but needs to improve when it comes to manufacturing and packaging them ready to go to patients.”

Matt Fellows

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