What's a makeover cost these days? For AstraZeneca's distribution hub, $100M

Delaware, a state hit hard by AstraZeneca's massive restructuring, is slated to get some investment from the U.K. drugmaker. The company will spend about $100 million over 5 years modernizing a facility in Newark that does global formulation work and serves as its key packaging and distribution hub in North America.

Kathy Monday, AstraZeneca Regional Vice President, Supply, Americas; Fredrik Härtfelder, AstraZeneca's Newark Executive Director and General Manager; and Larry Brecht, AstraZeneca Sr. Director, Newark Packaging Process Execution Team discuss planned enhancements to the company's Newark, Del. facility.
Courtesy of AstraZeneca

The news was presented to state officials last week during a visit to the facility and then posted to a company blog by spokeswoman Alisha Martin. It was also confirmed to delawareonline.com by Michele Meixell, AstraZeneca ($AZN) director of corporate communications. She said the upgrades to the facility, which is about 40 years old, will improve its efficiency.

The facility is equipped to do primary and secondary packaging and handles the largest piece of that work for the company in North America. It also provides formulation capabilities for markets globally, including for its blockbuster antipsychotic Seroquel.

The company's extended-release version of Seroquel remains protected, but it lost its patent last year on the regular version. That is one of many reasons AstraZeneca undertook its latest restructuring, cutting about 2,300 employees globally. As part of that shakeup, it moved a 1,200-person research and development operation out of Delaware. The company reported that its third-quarter revenues were down 4% to $6.25 billion and its core operating profit off 29% to just over $2 billion.

The Delaware hub is not the only piece of its supply chain to get an investment, however. The company said last month that it would spend £120 million ($190 million) on a new facility at its complex in Macclesfield, England, to boost production of its prostate cancer drug Zoladex. It said it is seeing growing demand for the drug in emerging markets.

- here's the blog post
- more from delawareonline.com

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