More than 200 jobs saved at AstraZeneca Avlon

Aerial photograph of the manufacturing site at Avlon, Abonmouth – image courtesy of AstraZeneca.
Aerial photograph of the manufacturing site at Avlon, Abonmouth – image courtesy of AstraZeneca.

Global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca has announced that its site at Avlon, Avonmouth, will continue to operate – safeguarding 210 local jobs.

Initially, it was thought that the Avlon site may have to be mothballed due to patents expiring on a number of AstraZeneca medicines.

Following a search for a potential buyer for the site who is hoped to bring new business to the area, AstraZeneca has announced that it has agreed a deal with US-based Avara Pharmaceutical Services.

Part of a larger manufacturing group and headquartered in Connecticut, Avara has two other pharmaceutical manufacturing sites and reportedly plans to expand its network to up to 10 sites around the world. Avara is now expected to acquire the Avlon site and take on all of the current AstraZeneca employees.

Figures relating to the price and official handover have yet to be disclosed.

The plant is expected to continue to manufacture AstraZeneca pharmaceutical products on a contract basis, and AstraZeneca to continue to source a stable supply of products from the facility under the new ownership of Avara following the acquisition.

AstraZeneca’s site senior director, Gary Butler commented: “This really good news after a long period where we thought the site would shut.

“Avara will continue to make and supply the products we currently produce for AstraZeneca and is also looking to bring new products to Avlon. As a leadership team we were delighted to be able to tell staff that it would be business as usual into the foreseeable future.”

Avara’s chairman and chief executive officer, Tim Tyson added: “The team at Avlon are an experienced and talented team of pharmaceutical manufacturing professionals who operate a high-quality facility and we are delighted to be able to acquire this capability, to continue to serve AstraZeneca and to transition this centre of excellence into an international pharmaceutical services facility of worldwide excellence, and to develop a long-term, profitable growth business at Avlon.”