AstraZeneca has expanded its biologics manufacturing capability with the acquisition of a high-tech biologics bulk manufacturing facility in the US from Amgen.

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the LakeCentre facility will increase manufacturing and production capacity to support AstraZeneca’s portfolio of biologics medicines.

The company intends to start staffing the facility immediately to support refurbishment and infrastructure improvements.

The facility is expected to be operational and licensed for commercial production by late-2017.

Following completion, the facility will offer additional capacity within AstraZeneca’s biologics operations.

"This site will play an important role in our future commercial production and give AstraZeneca and MedImmune the flexibility and capacity to meet the needs of our rapidly growing biologics portfolio."

Eventually, the new facility will double the biologics manufacturing capacity in the US to meet the needs of the company’s pipeline.

Biologics currently make up 50% of the company’s pipeline with more than 120 ongoing programmes, including more than 30 in clinical development.

AstraZeneca Operations and Information Technology executive vice-president Pam Cheng said: "The addition of the Boulder facility will support the progression of biotech drug candidates across our main therapeutic areas as we continue to bring innovative new treatments to patients.

"This site will play an important role in our future commercial production and give AstraZeneca and MedImmune, our global biologics research and development arm, the flexibility and capacity to meet the needs of our rapidly growing biologics portfolio."

Subject to relevant approvals by the local authorities, the facility could create up to 400 highly skilled jobs in the longer-term.

The purchase of the LakeCentre facility is AstraZeneca’s latest move to expand its biologics manufacturing capacity, following a $285m investment to build a biologics manufacturing facility in Sweden announced in May.

Additional investments include the $200m expansion of Frederick biologics manufacturing centre in Maryland announced in November 2014.