AstraZeneca to invest £120 million in new manufacturing facility to produce Zoladex in Macclesfield

Monday, 11 November 2013

AstraZeneca today announced plans to invest £120 million ($190 million) in a new facility at its global manufacturing site in Macclesfield, UK, to continue production of Zoladex, an injectable treatment for patients with prostate cancer. The investment secures 300 existing Zoladex jobs at the site and will create over 200 temporary jobs during the construction and commissioning phase between now and early 2017.

Zoladex has been manufactured at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield plant for over 25 years, supplying the medicine to more than one hundred markets around the world. 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.

David Smith, Executive Vice-President, Operations at AstraZeneca 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.”

Commenting on the new investment, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP said: "This is great news for our local community which will save and create hundreds of manufacturing jobs. Macclesfield MP David Rutley and I fought really hard along with the local council and local people to achieve this. This investment could have gone anywhere around the world - the fact it has come to Macclesfield shows what a superb site it is. It comes on top of the hundreds of new jobs being created on the Alderley Park site by new business after the difficult news there earlier this year. It's a real vote of confidence in East Cheshire."

As a sterile subcutaneous injectable product, Zoladex is manufactured under highly specialised 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.

The building of the new facility will begin in 2013 and is due to be completed by 2016. Products manufactured in the new facility will begin to be supplied to markets in 2017.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Zoladex

Zoladex is a widely prescribed luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analog (LHRHa) therapy administered by a subcutaneous injection. LHRHas works by reducing testosterone or oestradiol production. Zoladex is one of the world’s leading therapies for prostate cancer, with proven survival data, offering similar overall survival benefits and improvements in quality of life compared to surgical castration (orchidectomy).

First launched in 1987, Zoladex is available in more than 100 countries. It has indications in prostate and breast cancer and is an important oncology product for AstraZeneca, with annual sales in excess of approximately $1 billion.

About AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield manufacturing plant

Macclesfield is AstraZeneca’s second largest manufacturing unit with more than 1,000 people responsible for manufacturing and packing of five million tablets and capsules a day for distribution in more than 130 markets throughout the world. The activity undertaken ranges from global device and tablet formulation to global and regional packing and quality control testing.

Macclesfield formulates a range of products including Zoladex, Zomig Nasal Spray, Seroquel IR& XR, Tenormin, Zestril, Inderal IR, Accolate, Iressa, and Nolvadex.The packing activities encompass important brands like Accolate, Arimidex, Caprelsa, Casodex, Crestor, Diprivan, Faslodex, Iressa, Merrem, Nexium, Nolvadex, Seroquel IR, Seroquel XR, Tenormin/ Tenoretic, Zestril/Zestoretic and Zomig/Zomig Rapimelt.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

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