With plans to spend $360M, AstraZeneca will build its first-ever manufacturing site in Ireland
AstraZeneca is planning to spend a pretty penny for a new manufacturing facility in Dublin.
The Big Pharma will shell out $360 million to build an API plant for small molecules at its Alexion campus in College Park, Dublin, it announced Tuesday morning. AstraZeneca said the focus of the facility will be late-stage development and early commercial supply for small molecule therapies.
“The future manufacturing of APIs for our medicines includes compounds with highly complex synthesis, requiring next generation technologies and capabilities that can respond quickly and nimbly to rapidly-changing clinical and commercial needs,” AstraZeneca global ops chief Pam Cheng said in a statement. “This significant investment will ensure the AstraZeneca supply network is fit for the future.”
Overall, the project is expected to create about 100 new jobs, the company added. It’s AstraZeneca’s first manufacturing facility to be built in the country, receiving support from Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency as well as a full-throated endorsement from Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin in the press release.
The overall goal is to “significantly reduce commercialisation lead times, costs and introduce more sustainable manufacturing processes,” AstraZeneca said. That, in turn, is expected to help the English-Swedish pharma reduce its carbon footprint through a “future proof” design.
Small molecules are an important part of any large pharma’s pipeline, but AstraZeneca has a particular focus on the drug class currently making its way through Phase III studies. The AKT inhibitor capivasertib, developed in partnership with British biotech Astex Pharmaceuticals, is being evaluated in a variety of cancer indications as part of combination therapies.
Filings for these programs are expected in 2022 at the earliest, AstraZeneca says.
There is also a slate of small molecule programs in Phase II development for cardiovascular disease, as well as an asthma attack candidate that recently read out two Phase III wins. If all goes well for that latter program, AstraZeneca expects to file for approval in the first half of next year.
AstraZeneca’s commitment is the second time a Big Pharma company has set its sights on Ireland this month. A few weeks ago, J&J announced an expansion of its Irish manufacturing site, applying for a €150 million program in Ringaskiddy that will increase the size by 8,202 square feet. The move comes after J&J last expanded the site in 2019.