GSK injects $60 million and 58 jobs into Victoria

GlaxoSmithKline Pty Ltd (GSK) announced that it will invest $60 million to expand its manufacturing and new drug development activities in Victoria, Australia. The investment by one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies will create 58 new highly-skilled jobs by 2017.

GSK, a global research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company has had a base in Australia since 1886 and is already a significant contributor to the Victorian economy in terms of employment, exports, manufacturing and local R&D investment. Each year the company spend on average more than $30 million a year on R&D in Victoria and consistently export more than $300 million per annum in pharmaceutical products from the state.

GSK’s Boronia site, 29km East of downtown Melbourne, manufactures medicines for conditions including migraine, herpes, epilepsy, smoking cessation, hypertension, asthma, pain relief and anti-virals. The site is also the company's largest site globally for the production of sterile and non-sterile liquid products that utilise state-of-the-art ‘blow-fill-seal’ (BFS) technology.

Blow Fill Seal (BFS) is an advanced antiseptic process which produces a range of container sizes suitable for the delivery of unpreserved, sterile product. The $60 million investment will enable GSK to potentially double its current BFS manufacturing capacity by installing new production technology.

The investment will also support the creation of a pilot scale industrialisation facility for the development of new powder and sterile liquid pharmaceutical products. This industrialisation facility will support the continuation of GSK’s successful R&D collaboration with the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in developing next generation pharmaceutical products. GSK also plans to make this new facility accessible for local companies for contract manufacturing, further supporting skills development and technology transfer opportunities for Victorian researchers and companies.

GSK Boronia Site Director Troy Webb said this was a unique opportunity to put Victoria and Australia on the map when it comes to scientific innovation, particularly around ophthalmic, biological and consumer healthcare products.

“With the Victorian Government as a key supporter, this investment will build a sustainable manufacturing capability within the local community while driving manufacturing technology,” Mr Webb said.

The Victorian Government is investing in the life sciences sector to ensure that the right conditions exist in Victoria to support the growth of life sciences companies, such as GSK. The recently released, Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Future – Biotechnology is a $55 million plan to promote biotechnology-enabled innovation and support the growth of Victoria’s life sciences sector.

With a focus on capability development, the plan provides support to develop the necessary talent pool in Victoria, capitalise on our world-class R&D base, and pursue international trade and investment opportunities.

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