AstraZeneca plans to invest $190 million in a new facility at its global manufacturing site in Macclesfield, United Kingdom, to continue production of Zoladex, an injectable treatment for patients with prostate cancer, the company announced in a press release. Construction will begin in 2013 and is due to be completed by 2016. The investment secures 300 existing Zoladex jobs at the site and will create more than 200 temporary jobs during the construction and commissioning phase between now and early 2017.
Zoladex, a widely prescribed luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analog (LHRHa) therapy administered by a subcutaneous injection, has been manufactured at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield plant for more than 25 years. It continues to be an important asset in AstraZeneca’s oncology portfolio and is currently the company’s fifth largest selling brand with annual sales in the region of $1 billion.
As a sterile subcutaneous injectable product, Zoladex is manufactured under highly specialized conditions, following a complex, multistage formulation process. This requires a range of high-specification equipment in a controlled operating environment to ensure aseptic production. The continued global demand for Zoladex, particularly in Japan and emerging markets including China and Russia, has resulted in the decision to invest in replacing some of the existing facilities where the medicine is currently produced at the Macclesfield site.
“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,” said David Smith, executive vice-president of operations at AstraZeneca, in the press release.