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Astrazeneca announces historic investment in Northern France

01 Apr 2016 | A region on the move, Health Nutrition

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has announced plans to invest €135m in its Dunkerque production facility, which specializes in treatments for respiratory diseases. The investment is the largest since the company began doing business in Northern France in 1990.

Significant expansion ahead

Rising demand for treatment of respiratory diseases and the success of the Dunkerque facility’s products have made the plant a major growth driver for AstraZeneca. Symbicort, an aerosol medication for asthma, is now the company’s flagship product, with 90% of output exported to the American market. This strong showing is behind significant improvements in store: the site’s logistics platform will expand from its current 15,000 sq m to 30,000 sq m, and an eighth production line will be added, incorporating preparation and assembly of Symbicort’s active ingredients as well as packaging. Analytical robots and other new equipment will also be added as three laboratories are merged into a single unit, where researchers will focus on developing new inhalers and other projects.

22 million units of Symbicort produced in Northern France in 2015

Production in Dunkerque has doubled since 2010, but AstraZeneca has even bigger plans for the site. In addition to optimizing its production line for Symbicort, the company will be working on new treatments for respiratory diseases in the years ahead as part of its Everest program. Development of its PT003 compound, targeting the US market and set for launch in July 2016, also points towards continued success for the Dunkerque plant. Together these projects will generate new jobs in 2016, building on recent gains: over 100 new employees have joined the Dunkerque site in the past two years, bringing its workforce to 425.

Source : Usine Nouvelle, La Voix du Nord 

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