Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is investing an additional $100m to expand its manufacturing facility in North Ryde, Sydney, to develop inhaler products for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Over the last few years, the company has invested $100m on the development of the manufacturing unit. It is the global sole supplier to China of a primary respiratory product used in the treatment of asthma.

The facility currently manufactures respiratory medicines, including Pulmicort Respules for asthma patients, reported Sky News.

At a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in London, AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “We intend through this incremental investment to generate about $2.6bn of exports out of Australia to a great variety of markets, including China.

“And these products are growing very very rapidly and we expect to generate even more investments in jobs in Australia over the next few years.”

"We intend through this incremental investment to generate about $2.6bn of exports out of Australia to a great variety of markets, including China."

The investment will see the construction of three new production lines and about 60 new job opportunities are expected to be created over the next four years, reported The Australian.

The Sydney plant currently has eight manufacturing lines, each with the capacity to produce 70 million units annually, according to media sources.

Last week, the company completed an agreement with Recordati for the commercial rights to Seloken / Seloken ZOK (metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate, respectively) and associated Logimax fixed-dose combination (metoprolol succinate and felodipine) medicines in Europe.

Metoprolol succinate is a beta-blocker for the control of hypertension, angina and heart failure.

Image: Inhaler for asthma patients. Photo: courtesy of marin /