In order to increase its manufacturing and production capacity in biologics medicines AstraZeneca Plc. ( IW 1000/119) announced on Sept. 11 that it will purchase of a high-tech biologics bulk manufacturing facility from Amgen Inc. (IW 1000/252)
AstraZeneca plans to start staffing the LakeCentre facility, located in Boulder, Colo., immediately to support refurbishment and infrastructure improvements. Once complete, the site is expected to be operational and licensed for commercial production by late 2017, providing for additional capacity within the company’s biologics operations.
“The addition of the Boulder facility will support the progression of biotech drug candidates across our main therapeutic areas,” said Pam Cheng, executive vice-president, Operations and Information Technology at AstraZeneca. “This site will play an important role in our future commercial production and give AstraZeneca and MedImmune, our global biologics research and development arm, the flexibility and capacity to meet the needs of our rapidly growing biologics portfolio.”
In the longer-term, this site could create up to 400 highly skilled jobs, subject to relevant approvals by the local authorities.
The facility will eventually double the biologics manufacturing capacity in the U.S. to meet the needs of the maturing AstraZeneca pipeline. Currently biologics make up 50% of the company’s pipeline with more than 120 ongoing programs, including over 30 in clinical development.
The new facility in Boulder adds to the expansion of AstraZeneca’s biologics manufacturing capabilities, following the planned biologics manufacturing investment in Sweden, announced in May, and the expansion in Frederick, Maryland, announced in November 2014.