Japan-based Eisai has opened a new global potent packaging facility for its investigational compound, lenvatinib, at the EMEA Knowledge Centre (EKC) in Hatfield, UK.
The new facility will handle the packaging of lenvatinib, which is being developed to treat advanced thyroid cancer.
Featuring hybrid packaging lines, the packaging facility was developed to cope with highly potent and difficult-to-handle compounds.
UK Life Sciences minister and MP George Freeman said: "Pharmaceuticals manufacturing is important to our economy, with more than £22bn worth of exports in 2013 and a positive trade balance of just over £2bn."
The new two-storey 2,900m² facility is said to expand the current Hatfield site by 40%, and includes the firm’s EMEA headquarters, which serves as a global supply centre of excellence for key products.
Eisai invested £150m in the Hatfield site, which holds the capacity to produce 450 million tablets in ten million packs each year.
In June 2009, Eisai opened the £100m EKC in Hatfield, integrating the firm’s discovery research, clinical development, production and marketing.
Eisai CEO Haruo Naito said: "The UK is an ideal location for advanced manufacturing.
"We are committed to the life sciences industry in this country and it will continue to play a pivotal role in our commercial growth strategy."
Discovered and developed by Eisai, lenvatinib received orphan drug designation from European Commission in 2013, to treat follicular and papillary thyroid cancer.
Eisai submitted regulatory applications for the drug in the US, EU and Japan, while the European Medicines Agency accepted a request for accelerated approval of lenvatinib for advanced thyroid cancer.
Image: Eisai head office, Tokyo. Photo: courtesy of KW at ja.wikipedia.