AstraZeneca has unveiled plans to invest around $285m to develop a new advanced facility to manufacture biological medicines in Södertälje, Sweden.
The new facility will support filling and packaging of protein therapeutics and supply medicines for clinical trial programmes of AstraZeneca and MedImmune, the firm’s global biologics research and development arm.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said: "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.
"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 new facility will enhance the progression of drug candidates across the main therapy areas, in addition to aligned with investments being made in the current biologics manufacturing centres such as the expansion in Frederick of Maryland, US.
Expected to be fully operational by 2019, the new facility will create between 150 and 250 new skilled jobs.
The current investment is the first phase of AstraZeneca’s potential three-part programme, which has been designed to expand biologics manufacturing capabilities.
AstraZeneca AB president Jan-Olof Jacke said: "Building what will be a world-class facility in this area is not only important to AstraZeneca, but we believe it will also add value to the Swedish and Nordic life sciences sector by enhancing the skills base."
AstraZeneca has largest medicine production sites in Södertälje, including facilities in Snäckviken and Gärtuna, where the new facility is being developed.
Image: AstraZeneca’s R&D site in Mölndal, Sweden. Photo: courtesy of Erik031.