Pharma giant GSK opens new £90million manufacturing site in the North East

Pharmaceutical giant GSK has opened a new facility at its Barnard Castle site following a £90million investment.

The aseptic smart manufacturing facility – known as Q Block – will enable the Barnard Castle site to strengthen its global role in bringing new drugs to production for a range of diseases, GSK said.

Trials of the fully automated facility, which uses digital technology to make manufacturing operations as efficient as possible, began in 2020 and will begin manufacturing drugs for commercial use in the first half of next year.

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The facility will support existing and new biopharmaceutical assets in GSK’s portfolio and pipeline. It was built to sustainability criteria that aligns GSK’s goals of net zero and nature positive by 2030

Elizabeth Rowbotham, Site Director of GSK Barnard Castle, said: “Barnard Castle is a key site for GSK and central to the company’s future strategy as it supplies important existing and new medicines globally.

“The Q Block facility places GSK and Barnard Castle at the forefront of drug manufacturing and I am delighted that the site is playing such an important role in supporting the delivery of our innovative pipeline. This investment demonstrates GSK’s commitment to the region and I look forward to continuing to build a skilled team of people from a variety of disciplines. What we do together here makes a difference for patients every day and I am honored to work alongside such a committed team.

Barnard Castle is one of GSK’s largest manufacturing sites in the UK, employing around 1,000 people and supplying almost half a million product packs per day to 140 global markets. The site was founded in 1945 and is one of the largest local employers. It manufactures a range of products, including some of GSK’s most innovative medicines for HIV, respiratory diseases and autoimmune diseases.

Regis Simard, President of GSK’s Global Supply Chain, said: “I am delighted to join our teams for the official opening of our smart manufacturing facility at our Barnard Castle site. This is a very advanced technical achievement and by successfully applying digital technology, we will be able to launch transformational medicines for patients faster, developing right-first-time capability, while reducing waste.

“This investment demonstrates once again how we are strengthening our capabilities and capacities in our supply chain to be even more ambitious for patients. Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to design, build and test this awesome new facility.

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