AstraZeneca plans to invest approximately $285 million in a new high-tech facility for manufacturing of biological medicines in Södertälje, Sweden. The new plant will be focused on filling and packaging of protein therapeutics. The new facility will supply medicines for clinical trial programs of AZ and MedImmune, the company's global biologics R&D arm, from the end of 2018, and will deliver finished products for commercial use once fully operational by 2019.
Södertälje currently is home to AZ's largest global tablets and capsules manufacturing facility and also is a launch platform site for the company, with specialist capabilities on-site that allow large-scale production of new medicines, working closely with the R&D organization.
The planned investment will, subject to relevant approvals by the local authorities, create between 150 and 250 new roles at AZ by 2019.
Pascal Soriot, CEO, said, "This is a strategically important investment for AZ to support the accelerating development of biotech medicines, which now make up around half of our pipeline. We expect to bring a significantly increased number of new specialty care medicines to patients in the coming years, driven in large part by biologics. This new plant will give us greater capacity and flexibility to handle clinical trials, and also will play an important role in our future commercial production."
The $285 million planned investment is the first phase of a potential three-part program to expand AZ’s biologics manufacturing capabilities. Further investment decisions are expected to be made in the coming years.
The new manufacturing facility in Sweden will support the progression of drug candidates across the main therapy areas and be aligned with investments being made in the current biologics manufacturing centers, such as the expansion in Frederick, Md., announced in November.