AstraZeneca share price climbs on £120m investment in cancer drug production

on Nov 11, 2013
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Listen, Monday, November 11: AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) share price has risen today after the UK’s second largest pharmaceutical company announced that it would invest £120 million in a new facility at its manufacturing site in Macclesfield, northern England, to continue production of prostate cancer drug Zoladex.

The medicine is AstraZemneca’s fifth largest selling brand with annual sales of around $1 billion. The company, which last month agreed a $440 million deal with biotech firm Spirogen to boost its pipeline of cancer medicines (AstraZeneca share price: Drugmaker buys Spirogen), wants to increase supplies of Zoladex to meet growing demand for the drug in Japan, China and Russia. The drug has been produced for 25 years at the Macclesfield plant, which employs 2,000 people, around one third of whom work in manufacturing, packing and distributing drugs.

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**Move to secure hundreds of new jobs**
According to AstraZenca’s statement, the planned investment in the Macclesfield site will secure 300 new drug manufacturing jobs and create 200 temporary construction roles between now and 2017. The announcement comes just months after the drugs giant decided to move all its research and development (R&D) out of the northwest region. Earlier this year, AstraZeneca announced that it would cease all R&D at the historic Alderley Park laboratories in Cheshire, cutting 550 jobs there and 150 elsewhere in the UK over the next three years. A further 1,600 jobs will be moved to Cambridge, where AstraZeneca is relocating its headquarters and creating a new $330 million R&D centre.

David Smith, an executive vice-president at AstraZeneca, said in the group’s statement today: “Having considered a number of options globally, we believe it is the right choice to build the new facility in Macclesfield, which has been home to Zoladex manufacturing – and the expertise that goes along with it – for many years. This investment is a further signal of our long term commitment to the UK, and to the northwest.”

Chancellor George Osborne, whose Tatton constituency includes Alderley Park, described the drugmaker’s decision as a vote of confidence in East Cheshire. He said, as quoted by The Guardian in its coverage of the news: “This is great news for our local community, which will save and create hundreds of manufacturing jobs.”
The building of the new facility will begin in 2013 and is due to be completed by 2016, with first production scheduled for 2017, AstraZeneca noted in its statement today.

**AstraZeneca share price advances**
In today’s morning session, investors traded AstraZeneca’s shares as much as 0.40 percent higher. According to AnalystRatingsNetwork data, currently, 12 research analysts have rated the stock with a ‘sell’ rating, 15 have assigned a ‘hold’ rating and four have a “buy” rating to AstraZeneca’s shares. Thus the stock’s average rating is ‘hold’ with a consensus price target of 3,056.88p.
**As of 13:29 UTC, buy AstraZeneca shares at 3,289.00p.**
**As of 13:29 UTC sell AstraZeneca shares at 3,287.50p.** Trade these shares now through Hargreaves Lansdown from £5.95 per deal. Prices can go up and down meaning you can get back less than you invest. This is not advice. Dealing services provided by Hargreaves Lansdown.


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