Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrates AstraZeneca’s investment in advanced medicines manufacturing during Macclesfield campus visit

6 April 2021 13:00 BST

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today visited AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield global manufacturing and development campus in North West England, to view a £380m investment in a new advanced medicine manufacturing facility and Global Medicines Packaging Centre. The investment was made in March last year and the visit was rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Macclesfield campus, employing more than 3,000 people, is the UK’s largest medicines development and advanced manufacturing site and is a global centre of excellence from where AstraZeneca exports more than 50 medicines to 130 countries.

The investment in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing and packing facility provides capacity to meet rising global demand for AstraZeneca’s oncology medicine Zoladex (goserelin acetate)1. Only produced in Macclesfield, goserelin acetate had annual product sales of $888m in 2020. The medicine’s complex sterile production process relies exclusively on the advanced manufacturing capabilities and highly-skilled workforce of the Macclesfield campus.

During his COVID secure visit, the Prime Minister saw the production process for the cancer medicine and visited the £280m production and syringe assembly and fill building, constructed in just 10 months. Fitting out the building with complex manufacturing and environmental control equipment will take a further two years. Additionally, a £100m, state of the art, global medicines packaging centre was opened on the campus during lockdown last year.

AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Soriot, joined the visit by video and updated the Prime Minister on work ongoing across the campus in support of AstraZeneca’s global ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ strategy to eliminate emissions by 2025 and be carbon negative across the entire value chain by 2030. He also reiterated AstraZeneca’s commitment to science, innovation as well as skills development and training.

The Prime Minister warmly welcomed AstraZeneca’s investment and also thanked Pascal and all of the company’s employees across the world for the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and the critical role this has played in protecting people and saving lives.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “The UK is renowned as a world leader in scientific research and development, but we’re also a pioneer in advanced manufacturing as shown by this £380 million investment from AstraZeneca in a state-of-the-art facility.

“AstraZeneca is rightly known for its production of a life-saving coronavirus vaccine, but millions of patients also benefit from other medicines made right here in Macclesfield seven days a week.

“Today I met some of the highly skilled team and saw them producing vital cancer treatments and other medicines for people in the UK and around the world.

“This investment is a key part of our ambition to make the UK the global life sciences super power. British life sciences are leading the way in the battle against COVID. Now we have the opportunity to harness those talents against other diseases, such as cancer, and to secure jobs and investment in the process.”

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “These new advanced facilities in Macclesfield will further strengthen our global operations and enable us to meet the growing demand for Zoladex. They will enhance our global operations, sustain highly-skilled manufacturing jobs in the UK and, along with our presence in Cambridge, send a strong signal that Britain remains a global leader in life sciences, from early stage research through development to advanced manufacturing.”

For further information about goserelin acetate, please refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics at:

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory & Immunology. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

With its global headquarters in Cambridge, AstraZeneca operates in five different locations in the UK, where around 8,300 employees work in research and development, manufacturing, supply, sales and marketing. We supply 40 different medicines to the NHS. The UK is also an important location for AstraZeneca’s clinical trials; in 2018, we undertook 201 trials in the UK, involving 376 centres and over 7,000 patients.

For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUK.

For details on how to contact the Investor Relations Team, please click here. For Media contacts, click here.


1. Summary of Product Characteristics, goserelin acetate: accessed April 2021