Construction begins in the United Kingdom of a manufacturing plant for the production of cannabinoid drugs. This new facility for cannabinoid drug manufacturing in the UK is being established by Jazz Pharma after the acquisition of GW Pharma in 2021 for $7.2 billion.
The plant is believed to be around a 60,000 sq. ft. facility at the Kent Science Park located at Sittingbourne and will be functional by 2024. The facility will lead to the creation of 100 new jobs once it starts operations. The GW Pharma subsidiary has also heavily invested in KSP for the last 20 years.
This cannabinoid drug manufacturing plant in the UK will be utilized to accommodate the company’s two cannabinoid drugs that have received approval according to the press release: Sativex (nabiximols) and Epidiolex/Epidyolex (cannabidiol) in addition to the medicines in the research and development of cannabinoid drugs in the UK by Jazz Pharma. Jazz Pharma already has set up 12 buildings at Kent Science Park, employing more than 400 staff members and this new venture adds to the existing presence of Jazz Pharma at KSP.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals recently acquired FDA’s approval for the first cannabis-based medication in Feb 2021, and the company has now invested $100 million into the production of this medicine.
Epidyolex raised $464 million in 2021 from its supported use in seizures. These seizures may be brought about by Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and Jazz is attempting to broaden its utilization in treatment-refractory epilepsies which could uniquely grow the population qualified for treatment.
The expanded limit will come online as Jazz is expecting solid development in sales from more indications for both Epidyolex and Sativex, which it sees as having great promise.
In the meantime, nabiximols are marketed under the name of Sativex outside the US for the management of multiple sclerosis. In the US, it is being promoted to be used for other conditions like glioblastoma, a cancer of the brain. If the clinical study on nabiximols is successful, it would serve as an important addition to the treatment regime for glioblastoma. Glioblastoma has so far been treated by temozolomide chemotherapy.
Jazz’s managing director commented that the investment “underlines Jazz’s continued commitment to the UK and will help us bring potentially life-changing medicines to more patients who desperately need them in the UK and around the world.”
The UK officials have welcomed the news of the investment and see it as “a big sign of confidence in the UK life science ecosystem…and UK expertise in cannabinoid science and medicines” by the UK minister of science and innovation.
The new facility for cannabinoid drug manufacturing in the UK is under construction and the design is finalized after considering all the sustainability and climate challenges. More than 1,000 solar panels will be installed in the facility, the use of single-use plastics will be limited and it will contain animal refuge boxes for the rehabilitation of wildlife.