The new owner of a British-based pharmaceutical company that makes cannabis-based treatments will have to invest $ 100 million in a manufacturing facility in Kent.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals, which a year ago agreed to a W 7.2 billion takeover of GW Pharmaceuticals – considered to be the largest takeover of UK-based biotech – will begin construction of a 60,000-square-foot factory on its existing site in Sittingbourne’s Kent Science Park.
It will create more than 100 “highly skilled” jobs since opening in 2024 and will encourage government and industry efforts to rebuild Britain’s pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity. Chris Tove, head of Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Europe and International, said the investment was “the largest investment in the company’s history” and would result in more than 500 employees on site, the largest of the combined group.
GW was founded in 1998 when it received a license from the Home Office to grow cannabis in the south of England. It floated on the alternative investment market in 2001 before being listed on the Nasdaq in the United States in 2013.
It made progress in 2018 when the US Food and Drug Administration approved its lead product, Epidiolex, a cannabis-based treatment for severe childhood epilepsy. The active ingredient used in Epidiolex is cannabidiol, a component of plants that does not elevate users. The Kent site, formerly owned by Shell, has been occupied by GW since the company’s inception and was chosen because it had a top research glasshouse. GW’s cannabis is grown commercially in secret locations across the country.
The site produces extract, active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulated pharmaceutical products. Its expansion will increase the potency of Epidiolex and Sativex, its first product to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Jazz is seeking approval for Sativex in the United States.
The new facility will support the production of cannabinoid drugs under development from a pipeline that includes Nabiximols, which is in the third phase of testing as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. It includes pre-stage product candidates for other neurological disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Jazz, which acquired GW in a cash and share deal last May, is valued at da 9.8 billion by Nasdaq and focuses on neuroscience and oncology. It is located in Dublin and has sites across North America and Europe, including Oxford, Cambridge and London. About one-third of Jazz’s 3,000 employees are based in the UK.
The Kent site expansion is designed to increase the group’s revenue to 25 5 billion in 2025 from বছরের 3 billion last year. This will ensure that R&D activities are not “out of the crowd,” said Bruce Kozad, chairman and chief executive of Jazz.
George Freeman, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, said the investment was “a great sign of confidence in the UK’s life sciences ecosystem. [and] The UK’s expertise in cannabinoid science and medicine. ” Ministers have pledged to ensure that Britain rebuilds its pharmaceutical manufacturing infrastructure following the industry’s shift to offshoring and the use of contract manufacturers, and officials have been tasked with working with the NHS to identify production requirements.
The group did not receive official support as part of the investment, but Tovey, 56, said it was “very dependent on everything the government says it is working on creating a really rich talent pool for tech workers. We need the site.”
He said GW’s product approvals have helped attract workers and differentiate the company from the “clouder” part of the cannabis industry. “What Kovid has taught us is that if a drug is involved, no matter how desperate it is, people still prefer regulatory-approved drugs.”