AstraZeneca PLC Will Invest $200M, Add 300 Jobs In Maryland Plant Expansion

Published: Nov 24, 2014

AstraZeneca Will Invest $200M, Add 300 Jobs In Maryland Plant Expansion

November 21, 2014

By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Editor

AstraZeneca said today it will embark on a $200 million expansion of its biologics manufacturing center in Frederick, Md., which will include adding 300 jobs and add approximately 40,000 additional square feet of manufacturing, laboratory and administrative space.

The company said the $200 million project will increase production capacity in a crucial bid for the firm to keep its maturing pipeline competitive in a booming biologics market, which comprises nearly 50 percent of AstraZeneca’s overall pipeline.

AstraZeneca said the new expansion will begin as soon as December and is slated to be finished by the middle of 2017.

“Biologics are an important part of AstraZeneca’s overall capabilities, in addition to our strengths in small molecules and protein engineering,” said Andrew Skibo, regional vice president of biologics supply for AstraZeneca in a statement.

“Our global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, has a robust pipeline of more than 120 biologics, including more than 30 in clinical development,” he said. “The expansion of our Frederick facility will support the progression of drug candidates across our core therapeutic areas, ultimately aiding us in our efforts to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients through scientific leadership and innovative new treatments.”

The Frederick biologics manufacturing plant is the largest biologics manufacturing facility within the company’s global network. It is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for large-scale cell culture production facility and currently houses administrative, production, warehouse, laboratory and utility space. It produces pediatric medication and other investigational biologic products, said the company.

Local officials said Friday they were delighted by the news and lauded the decision as a boon the local economy and job market.

“We’re very pleased by AstraZeneca’s demonstrable commitment to our local workforce and to our growing biotech community,” said Frederick City Mayor Randy McClement. “This expansion will help bring even more high-caliber life science jobs and career opportunities to Frederick and the surrounding region.”

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