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25 March, 2022 - 12:31 By Tony Quested

GW parent company creates 100 jobs with new facility

The marriage of Cambridge biotechnology with Irish nous and cash – allied to US visibility – are all evidenced in a major UK expansion for Nasdaq-quoted Jazz Pharmaceuticals and its Cambridge-based subsidiary GW Pharmaceuticals.

The companies have announced a $100 million-plus investment in a new manufacturing facility in Kent that will create more than 100 highly-skilled jobs.

They have initiated construction of the new 60,000 sq ft facility at Kent Science Park (KSP) in Sittingbourne. 

Due to open in 2024, the facility is designed to support the company’s two regulatory-approved cannabis-based medicines and support future capacity for new medicines under development. 

Jazz currently manufactures the extract, active pharmaceutical ingredients and the formulated drug products at KSP, occupying 12 buildings with more than 400 employees, making it – and the UK – the heart of its global cannabinoid manufacturing operations.

The new facility has been designed with careful consideration to the environment, and this will continue through its build phase and use. Animal refuge boxes will be installed to promote wildlife in the local area, the use of single use plastics will be minimised and more than 1,100 solar panels will be installed to provide a portion of the building’s energy usage.

Chris Tovey, executive VP, chief operating officer and managing director, Europe & International at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, said: “The UK has been our home for over two decades. This strategic investment underlines Jazz’s continued commitment to the UK and will help us bring potentially life-changing medicines to more patients who desperately need them in the UK and around the world.

“This new facility will not only significantly increase our ability to support the growing demand for our medicines, but also help us maintain our position as a world leader in cannabinoid science.”

George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, said: “This £75m investment by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in a state of the art pharmaceutical manufacturing facility is a big sign of confidence in the UK life science ecosystem.

“Not only will this investment support the creation of over 100 additional highly skilled jobs in the region, it is a sign of UK expertise in cannabinoid science and medicines serving the U.K. and beyond.” 

Over the past two decades, GW – based locally in Histon, has made significant investment in the KSP site, building major in-house processing and manufacturing expertise to meet the growing demand for its medicines.

On its journey to creating world-first medicines, it has assembled a large, talented and highly skilled, in-house team of professionals with expertise spanning botanical growing, pre-clinical and clinical R & D, product development, manufacturing and testing.

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