GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced investments worth £200m for establishing a manufacturing innovation centre and transforming its supply chain by improving the delivery of the company’s pipeline of new medicines in the UK.
The investment will be used to upgrade its manufacturing facilities in Ware, Hertfordshire and Worthing, Sussex with new equipment.
The manufacturing sites in Ware will be responsible for the development and production of Relvar Ellipta inhaler, the company’s new generation inhaler device for respiratory disease which will now be produced at the site before being exported worldwide.
As part of the investment, a new bulk sterile building and filling line will be built in Worthing for the company’s antibiotic medicine Augmentin, which is exported to 150 countries.
A new pharmaceutical manufacturing innovation centre will be established that will be dedicated to harnessing new technologies with the potential to transform both the way medicines are made and the company’s supply chain.
The new centre will transform emerging science and technologies into practical manufacturing applications and these technologies could reduce costs, improve quality and enable the manufacture of medicines in weeks rather than years.
The technologies range from mimicking nature using enzymes and biologically inspired catalysts, to using nano-technologies to create intelligent drug product formulations which minimise side-effects and improve efficacy.
According to the company, the preferred site for the location of the new centre is Ware, Hertfordshire where it already has manufacturing and R&D facilities in one location.
GSK president of global manufacturing and supply Roger Connor said: "The establishment of the Patent Box has transformed how we see the UK as a place to invest. As a result, last year we announced we were building our first new factory in the UK for 40 years.
"The investments announced today are in addition to that and will allow us to harness new technologies that have the potential to deliver a step-change in how we make medicines."
GSK’s latest investment follows the £500m announced in March 2012 that led to creation of around 1,000 jobs.
Recently, GSK also announced an £25m investment for expanding its operations in Montrose to help support the delivery of its new pipeline of medicines.
The company’s manufacturing site at Ware employs 800 people, out of which over 500 make respiratory products, including Relvar/Breo and it also exports more than 35 million packs of respiratory products to 120 countries, as well as shipps over 400 million tablets per annum.
Around 950 people are employed at the Worthing site, which manufactures both active ingredients and finished medicines that are supplied to 157 markets worldwide.