AstraZeneca bets big on biotech with large new Swedish plant
- AstraZeneca is investing $285 million investment to create a biotech manufacturing facility in Sweden.
- The new plant will be focused on filling and packaging of protein therapeutics.
- The new facility, which will be located in Södertälje, will supply medicines for clinical trial programs starting at the end of 2018.
By 2019, AZ's Swedish biotech plant will be fully operational, allowing the company to focus more on injectables, which currently comprise half of AZ's pipeline. Building out a biotech facility in Södertälje makes sense, given the city is where AZ's small-molecule drugs are manufactured.
AZ's move is part of a larger and continually growing trend—the ascendance and prominence of biotech in the context of the larger pharmaceutical/healthcare sector. In fact, biotech stocks are rising faster than any other sector of the market. Last year, there were 71 biotech IPOs, compared with 47 in 2013—and there is a good chance that 2015 will be another record-breaking year.