GSK pumps £200M+ into UK manufacturing network to bolster commercial ambitions, API supply

As British pharma giant AstraZeneca looks abroad to build new factories, GSK is sticking close to home, where it plans to plug hundreds of millions of pounds into the United Kingdom over the next two years.

GSK will lay out more than £200 million (about $253 million) through 2025 to bolster its U.K. supply network, including building new facilities and developing new assembly lines, a company spokesperson said over email on Monday. The Daily Mail was the first to report on the manufacturing investments Sunday.

As for specifics, GSK is currently in the middle of a multi-year, £67 million ($85 million) upgrade to its manufacturing site in Montrose, Scotland, where a new production facility is slated for completion this year. That upgrade will be used to support production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for the future supply of medicines, the spokesperson explained.

Further, GSK is poised to kick off production at its £65 million ($82 million) site in Ware, England, which opened in September. The Ware site represents a global manufacturing location for GSK and will be used to crank out some of GSK’s most “commercially important” medicines, including those for HIV, the spokesperson said.

Across the U.K., GSK operates six manufacturing sites, Regis Simard, president of global supply chain, said in a statement.

GSK’s U.K. investment comes as crosstown rival AstraZeneca looks elsewhere for future manufacturing expansions.

Last February, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot blamed the U.K.’s “discouraging” tax rate for the company’s decision to build a $400 million API facility at a former Alexion campus in Dublin, Ireland.

Talking to reporters at the time, Soriot said that despite the U.K. government’s charge to make the country into a life sciences powerhouse, punitive tax rates were forcing decision-makers to look elsewhere.

“We’re very committed (to the U.K.), but we need to see also supporting policies for the whole industry,” he said last year.

Elsewhere, GSK recently ⁠pledged 250 million euros ($273 million) to build a new facility at its Wavre campus in Belgium. That facility will support the company's growing vaccine ambitions, including the launch of its RSV shot Arexvy.