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AZ announces A$100m expansion of Oz asthma drug plant citing China demand

By Gareth MacDonald+

Last updated on 12-Jul-2017 at 14:16 GMT2017-07-12T14:16:08Z

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AstraZeneca has committed A$100m ($76.4m) to expand its manufacturing facility in Sydney Australia, citing growing demand for asthma medications in China.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm confirmed the expansion plan in an email sent to in-pharmatechnologist, explaining it will install three manufacturing lines at the facility in Sydney suburb North Ryde.

An AstraZeneca spokesman told us the expansion "builds on an existing programme of investment to meet demand and patient need, and China is a key driver within this."

The firm also said the expansion will create 60 jobs.

Barry Hendy, managing director of Andrew Donald Design Engineering, told us his firm has been hired to up capacity at the plant.

 “I can confirm we are building a number of systems for AstraZeneca in Sydney including three new "finishing lines" and a central palletising system.

Emerging market

The facility currently has eight manufacturing lines, each with the capacity to make 70 million units a year. 

The main product made at the site it the corticosteroid asthma drug Pulmicort Respules (budesonide inhalation suspension).

According to AstraZeneca 90% of the products made at the facility are supplied to the Chinese market.

Chinese revenue

AztraZeneca generated revenue of $2.63bn (€2.2bn) in China is 2016, up 4% on the previous year.

According to the firm's annual report Chinese Pulmicort revenue grew 18% to $570m in 2016, while sales of Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol fumarate dehydrate) in the country increased 26% to $156m.

AstraZeneca said: “Volume demand in China partly reflected the long-term increase of acute COPD and paediatric asthma. AstraZeneca continued its expansion of treatment centres and provided increased access to home-based patient-care systems."

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