AstraZeneca invests £120m in Alderley Park manufacturing facility

zoladex UK-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZ) plans to invest £120m in a new manufacturing facility at its former R&D site at Alderley Park, Cheshire.

The new facility will specialise in production of the prostate cancer drug Zoladex, securing 300 existing jobs and creating over 200 temporary jobs between now and 2017.

The announcement follows AZ’s decision to develop a major new R&D site in Cambridge, also with an oncology focus, and reflects the company’s aim of leading the market in biological cancer therapies.

Zoladex is currently AZ’s fifth largest-selling brand, with annual global sales exceeding $1bn, and growing sales in emerging markets such as China and Russia.

The drug, a subcutaneously injected hormone analogue, is manufactured under highly specialised conditions in a controlled environment.

It works by reducing testosterone production, and has been shown to be as clinically effective as surgical castration but less harmful to quality of life.

David Smith, Executive Vice-President of Operations, said: “Zoladex is one of AstraZeneca’s leading cancer drugs, supplied to patients across the globe. This new facility will support the continued production of this important medicine in the UK.

“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. This investment is a further signal of our long-term commitment to the UK, and to the North West.”

George Osborne MP commented: “This investment could have gone anywhere around the world – the fact it has come to Macclesfield shows what a superb site it is.”

The building of the new facility will begin in 2013, be completed in 2016 and start to supply products worldwide in 2017.