GlaxoSmithKline opens new $56.6M vaccines plant in Scotland

GlaxoSmithKline Montrose, Scotland production site
GlaxoSmithKline has completed an addition to its Montrose site in Scotland that will expand its vaccine production capabilities.

GlaxoSmithKline opened its new $56.6 million vaccines plant in Montrose, Scotland, that will manufacture sterile aluminum salts and includes a microbiology lab. But the small addition comes as a much bigger project has been canceled. 

The opening of the four-story facility comes on the heels of GSK’s announcement that it plans to spend an additional $37 million to support the production of medicines for respiratory illnesses at the site. The Montrose facility is focused on the production of salbutamol, the API in Ventolin, a treatment for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Fifteen jobs were added at the new facility, The Courier reported.

GSK Montrose site director Les Thomson said: “With this new facility, we’ll be making a key ingredient for approximately 70% of our vaccines portfolio, protecting against diseases such as pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough."

Earlier this year, GSK confirmed that the Montrose project is part of a $354 million expansion at three plants in the U.K. that the company announced in July 2016. GSK said at the time that in addition to the Montrose investment, it would invest $95 million at the Ware site for expansion of production of inhalers for its Ellipta respiratory drug. It also had planned to lay out $118 million at Barnard Castle in Durham County in the U.K. for an aseptic sterile manufacturing plant for biologics, but that play recently got scrapped. 

In July, GSK said it was looking to trim costs by unloading some marginal businesses that would cost about 320 manufacturing jobs in the U.K. over the next three years. In addition, the company said it was canceling plans for the biologics plant, a project that had promised about 500 new jobs.