Jazz Pharma Announces $100 Million “Green” Manufacturing Plant for Cannabis-Based Medicines

Jazz Pharma Announces $100 Million “Green” Manufacturing Plant for Cannabis-Based Medicines

Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ new manufacturing plant in Kent, England, is set to open in 2024 and has been designed for producing cannabis-based medicines like its first FDA-approved cannabidiol drug Epidiolex, which is used to treat rare epileptic seizures.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals has broken ground on a new $100 million manufacturing plant for cannabis-based medicines in the UK. The facility will be constructed in Kent Science Park (KSP) in Sittingbourne, an industrial town in Kent, England.

According to a press release from Jazz Pharma, the plant has a planned opening date in 2024 and will welcome 100 new employees. The 60,000-square-foot facility was specially designed to support the company’s two regulatory-approved cannabis-based medicines and offer capacity for future drugs currently under development.

The new facility will expand Jazz’s operations in Kent Science Park where it currently operates 12 buildings with over 400 employees.

After acquiring British cannabis-based medicine developer GW Pharmaceuticals in 2021 in a $7.2 billion deal, it gained access to GW’s substantial investments in Kent Science Park along with the company’s first approved cannabis-based drug Sativex (nabiximols). Sativex, which is administered as an oral spray, was approved in the UK in 2010 for the treatment of neuropathic pain, overactive bladder and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Jazz said the Kent Science Park site forms “the heart of our global cannabinoid manufacturing operations.”

Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ cannabidiol (CBD) drug Epidiolex became the first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cannabis-based medication in 2018. It is indicated for the treatment of rare epileptic syndromes that begin in early childhood, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Last year, the FDA expanded the approval to include it as a treatment for tuberous sclerosis complex. GW Pharma received approval from the European Commission in 2019 to market the drug in 28 countries on the continent.

Related: GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex Receives Approval for Second Rare Disease Indication

Jazz is going green with its new facility in more than one way. The company says the plant has been designed with “careful consideration to the environment” at all stages of development, from the building phase through to operational use. This commitment to environmental sustainability will include minimizing the use of single-use plastics, placement of animal refuge boxes to promote wildlife in the local area and the installation of more than 1,100 solar panels to generate a portion of the building’s energy consumption.

“This facility, which is expected to open in 2024, will not only significantly increase our ability to support the growing demand for our medicines, but help us maintain our position as a world leader in cannabinoid science,” Chris Tovey, executive vice president, chief operating officer and managing director for Europe and International at Jazz, said in the press release.

Jazz acquired GW to beef up its neuroscience program and add a cannabis pipeline. The Dublin-based pharma company Jazz focuses on developing therapeutics in the neuroscience and oncology spaces.

Jazz Pharma had a record year in 2021 as it brought in over $3 billion in revenue for the first time in the company’s history. The net product sales of Epidiolex were $463.6 million in 2021, or $658.3 million on a proforma basis, with a year-over-year revenue growth of 29 percent, which “underscores blockbuster potential,” said Jazz in a press release earlier this month. The drug got off to a strong start since its approval in the US and Europe in 2018 and 2019, respectively, with sales having increased by 70 percent in 2020.