UK-based AstraZeneca is planning to spend £120m on a new facility at its Macclesfield manufacturing site, to continue manufacturing of its prostate cancer drug Zoladex.
According to the company, the building of the new facility will start before the end of the year and be complete by 2016, with product supply possibly beginning in 2017.
The new facility is expected to support the continued production of the prostate cancer treatment drug in the UK.
With the investment, the company will preserve 300 drug manufacturing jobs and create 200 temporary construction jobs.
The company has been producing the drug for more than 25 years at the Macclesfield plant, which employs around 1,000 people for manufacturing and packing five million tablets and capsules a day for distribution in at least 130 markets worldwide.
AstraZeneca executive vice-president of operations David Smith said Zoladex is one of the company’s leading cancer drugs, supplied to patients across globally.
"Having considered a number of options globally, we believe it is the right choice to build the new facility in Macclesfield, which has been home to Zoladex manufacturing, and the expertise that goes along with it, for many years," Smith said.
Zoladex is a sterile subcutaneous injectable product that is produced under highly specialised conditions, following a complex, multistage formulation process and it requires a range of high-specification equipment in a controlled operating environment to ensure aseptic production.
The company wants to increase supplies of Zoladex in order to meet growing demand in Japan, as well as emerging markets in China and Russia.
Zoladex is a prescribed luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analog (LHRHa) therapy that works by reducing testosterone or oestradiol production.
Image: AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield plant has been producing Zoladex for over 25 years. Photo: courtesy of AstraZeneca.