AstraZeneca plans to spend $285 million to build a new drug manufacturing facility in Sodertalje, Sweden, so it can produce more drugs to be used in clinical trials, according to a BioSpace.com article. The plant is expected to bring 150 to 250 “highly skilled” new jobs to the area by 2019.
The new facility is being designed to focus on filling and packaging protein therapeutics and “finished products for commercial use” when it is completed in 2019, according to BioSpace.com.
AstraZeneca’s existing manufacturing facility in Sodertalje is its largest site for producing capsules and tablets. But with a growing interest in injectables, especially biotech drugs, AstraZeneca’s new site will concentrate on what now comprises half of its total pipeline.
“This is a strategically important investment for AstraZeneca to support the accelerating development of biotech medicines, which now make up around half of our pipeline,” said Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer, in a statement. “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 will also play an important role in our future commercial production.”
The company’s facilities in the area are located in Snäckviken and Gärtuna, which are also the headquarters for AstraZeneca’s Nordic-Baltic marketing company, BioSpace.com notes. About 35 percent of AstraZeneca’s total sales value comes from its Swedish operation, which employs approximately 3,800 workers. In 2013, AstraZeneca’s exports of medicines from Sweden totaled $4.74 billion, or about 3.5 percent of total Swedish exports.