PowderJect Pharmaceuticals of the UK has announced plans to invest £85 million (€121m) in its facilities in Liverpool. The programme, which is supported by the Northwest Development Agency, will greatly enhance and expand the company's vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities, it said.
Over the next five years, the investment will increase PowderJect's industrial capacity in both primary and secondary manufacture, particularly for the company's influenza and travel vaccines, according to the company. The programme will also expand the development capabilities on the Liverpool site, ensuring the efficient scale-up of R&D pipeline products into full commercial manufacture.
In addition to underpinning the company's strategic expansion plans, the investment will provide employees with state-of-the-art training and skills development programmes, PowderJect said.
The NWDA is contributing approximately £20 million to the programme. As part of the facility development, PowderJect will enter a lease agreement with the developer, Intercity, who will also invest approximately £20 million, with the overall investment of £85 million earmarked for spending by 2008.
Meanwhile, US biotechnology company Chiron has extended the deadline for its acquisition of PowderJect until June 23, after announcing that it has gained control of over 75 per cent of the UK company's shares.