AstraZeneca sells US plant to Resilience, forging manufacturing pact in the process

A new era is dawning at an AstraZeneca facility that once formed part of the company’s U.S. COVID-19 vaccine production network.  

AstraZeneca has locked in a sale of its site in West Chester, Ohio, to busy biomanufacturing newcomer National Resilience, the companies said Tuesday. In tandem with the sale, the drugmakers forged a “long-term” biomanufacturing accord, under which Resilience will continue to crank out “select AstraZeneca medicines."

More than 500 employees who currently work at AZ’s Ohio facility will maintain their jobs once Resilience takes control, Andrew Wirths, senior vice president of AstraZeneca’s Americas supply region, said in a statement.

AZ and Resilience expect to close the deal for the West Chester site in early 2023. The companies are not revealing the financial terms of the sale, an AstraZeneca spokesperson said over email.

The site is a 580,000-square-foot, commercial-scale facility with a history supplying drugs across global markets, Resilience said. It boasts end-to-end drug product manufacturing capabilities, including aseptic filling, inspection, packaging, labeling and cold chain operations for vials, cartridges, prefilled syringes and autoinjectors. The site also features a virtual reality training center, Reslience points out.

Further, the West Chester site has capacity “available immediately for new projects,” Resilience added.

Several years back, meanwhile, AstraZeneca was utilizing the West Chester site for filling and packaging of its COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. AstraZeneca’s shot Vaxzevria never made it past the regulatory finish line in the U.S., and the company formally called it quits on its efforts there in early November.

As for Resilience, the company formed in 2020 with a mission to build the "world's most advanced biopharmaceutical manufacturing ecosystem" and has since grown rapidly. Last September, mRNA player Moderna tapped Resilience—then barely a year old—to manufacture vaccine drug substance at a recently acquired facility in Canada.

In 2022, the company forged a number of agreements with high-profile medical centers such as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Mayo Clinic.