Sector News

Takeda expanding in EU while AZ talks of pulling out of U.K.

October 2, 2017
Life sciences

While other companies fret about the impact of Brexit, Japan’s Takeda will make another investment in its production operations in the European Union.

The company will invest up to €100 million in a new manufacturing plant at its site in Clondalkin near Dublin, Ireland, that could eventually add 100 jobs to its operations there, The Times reported.

The outlay is for a 3,000 square-meter, (32,292 square-foot) two-story manufacturing plant next to an existing facility at the Grange Castle business park, the newspaper said.

The company today in an emailed statement acknowledged preliminary work on an expansion but declined to give details about the project.

“As part of the company’s future growth strategy, Takeda is seeking advance planning permission to facilitate the potential expansion of its Grange Castle site. By having planning permission already in place, Takeda Ireland Limited will be better positioned to win more investment in the future. At this time, we are not disclosing further details on the expansion or investment,” the statement said.

The news comes just a few months after the drugmaker kicked off construction of a €40 million ($42.8 million) facility at the Grange Castle site to manufacture its newly approved oral multiple myeloma drug Ninlaro, a first-to-market active proteasome inhibitor.

While Takeda’s plans are seen as a sign of faith in a post-Brexit EU, other companies have been hesitant to move forward with projects there until negotiators hammer lay a foundation for the post-Brexit structure. In fact, Leif Johansson, chairman of Anglo-English AstraZeneca, this weekend warned that the Anglo-Swedish company will have to pull some manufacturing and research operations out of the U.K. if there is not a viable deal for its exit from the European Union.

“If something doesn’t happen to take away the current uncertainty it will become a big and important matter for us. Moving manufacturing takes several years.” Johansson said in an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that was reported on by the English-language publication The Local.

The vote put a deadline of May 2019 on the exit and companies have been frustrated by the slow deliberations between the two sides. They said they need to know how things will change for them and their employees, who are currently able to move freely within EU members countries, including the U.K.

AstraZeneca recently drew big attention from Brexit watchers when it announced a small investment in a new plant in the U.K., because AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot had declared a hiatus on any significant manufacturing investments in the country until there was more light around Brexit. Some wondered if the $50 million investment on a packaging line for prostate cancer drug Zoladex suggested he had a change of heart.

But AstraZeneca spokespeople were quick to point out the project had already been planned and that the CEO’s stand on future manufacturing investments remained firm.

By Eric Palmer

Source: Fierce Pharma

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