Eisai to expand global packaging facility in UK

Japanese firm will invest £8 million at its production plant in Hatfield, Hertfordshire to support the planned launch of several new products

Eisai is investing £8 million at its Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK plant to support the planned launch of multiple new products

Japanese pharmaceuticals manufacturer Eisai Co is to invest £8 million at its Hatfield, Hertfordshire production plant in the UK to create an additional packaging facility ahead of a planned launch of several new products.

The Hatfield plant is operated by the company's UK manufacturing subsidiary, Eisai Manufacturing Ltd.

Construction is set to begin in September and will be completed by June 2014, with launch of operations planned for September 2014. The company expects to hire 40 more people at the plant over the next five to seven years.

Hatfield serves as Eisai’s global supply centre for new products such as anti-epileptic drug Fycompa while also functioning as a production and packaging base for countries across Europe, where there is high demand for multiple-language presentations for low-volume products.

This new investment is a vote of confidence in our EMEA Hatfield facility

The new facility will cover a total floor space of approximately 2,900m2 and will be located adjacent to the current plant, with a total floor space of about 7,800m2.

Eisai plans to handle the packaging of its investigational generic anti-cancer drug lenvatinib at the new plant, and a new packaging area of approximately 400m2 will handle highly potent compounds. The site will comply with the guidelines of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The move was welcomed by David Willetts, UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, who said: ‘Eisai's decision to invest is great news for the UK and reflects the Government's commitment to creating the best environment for life sciences.’

Eisai's President, Haruo Naito, added: ‘This new investment is a vote of confidence in our EMEA Hatfield facility and I am delighted that we are now able to expand our global centre for packaging at Hatfield.’

Eisai established the European Knowledge Centre (EKC), which integrates the company's discovery research, clinical development, production, marketing, and European headquarters functions into one site in Hatfield, in 2009.

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