Wockhardt, Serum Institute of India to build UK fill-finish plant in Wales

India-based Wockhardt and a subsidiary of the Serum Institute of India inked a deal (PDF) to build a new fill-finish manufacturing plant in Wrexham, North Wales.

Financial details as well as specifics related to the start of construction, the size of the plant and the projected number of jobs the project will generate weren’t disclosed. The site will churn out 150 million doses of various vaccines per year, Wockhardt said.

Wockhardt has touted itself as one of the biggest drug suppliers in the U.K., providing medications for the country’s National Health Service from its current 612,000-square-foot production plant in Wrexham that has more than 400 employees. That site has been manufacturing treatments for diabetes, anticoagulation, pain management and COVID-19 vaccines.

“The collaboration will be instrumental in building long-term capacity in the U.K. (as) we seek to further bolster supply resilience and support the global rollout of vaccines,” Natasha Poonawalla, chairperson of Serum Life Sciences, said in a statement.

Wockhardt began ramping up its Wrexham site after signing a deal with the British government in the summer of 2020 to complete fill-finish work on millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses for exclusive use in the U.K., including AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford’s shot.

At the time, the U.K. government shelled out 65.5 million pounds sterling ($79 million) for the Wockhardt COVID-19 deal before signing up for other advance purchases from Pfizer and BioNTech and others.