AstraZeneca opens cancer med plant in U.K.

AstraZeneca has opened a new plant to make cancer meds at its massive site in Macclesfield, U.K.

A £120 million biologics plant to make cancer meds for U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca is now online.

The plant, which was started in 2013, is at the company’s site in Macclesfield, U.K. It was officially opened Monday by CEO Pascal Soriot, Signal 1 reports. The facility was not slated to create any new jobs at the site, where AstraZeneca already employs about 3,000 workers.

When the $147 million project was started three years ago, the drugmaker said it was primarily needed to boost the production of its prostate cancer drug Zoladex, which was seeing significant sales globally, particularly in Japan, China and Russia.

The drug, which has been on the market for more than 25 years, remains a significant producer for the U.K. company, generating $816 million in 2015 sales. That was up 7%, with a strong performance in China, where sales grew 29% to $121 million.

The new plant comes online even as the drugmaker is in the midst of a $1.5 billion cost-savings effort that includes manufacturing. While Soriot gave no specifics about what that would mean for production when he announced his plans last spring, he did say the effort will “streamline the operations, primarily in commercial and manufacturing,” to cut costs in 2016 and 2017.

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