AZ to build biotech manufacturing facility in Sweden

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AstraZeneca has unveiled plans to spend $285 million on a new high-tech facility for the manufacturing of biological medicines in Sweden.

The plant in Sodertalje, which is currently home to AstraZeneca’s largest global tablets and capsules manufacturing facility, will supply medicines for clinical trial programmes from the end of 2018 and will deliver finished products for commercial use once fully operational by 2019. AstraZeneca says the planned investment will, subject to relevant approvals by the local authorities, create between 150-250 highly-skilled new roles.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot noted that biotech medicines now make up around half of the company’s pipeline and “we expect to bring a significantly increased number of new specialty care medicines to patients in the coming years, driven in large part by biologics”. He added that the new plant “will give us greater capacity and flexibility to handle clinical trials, and will also play an important role in our future commercial production”.

The $285 million investment is the first phase of a potential three-part programme to expand AstraZeneca’s biologics manufacturing capabilities. Further “investment decisions” are expected to be made in the coming years.