New Medicinal Cannabis Facility in Kent

Liz Filmer
28 Mar 2022

Jazz Pharmaceuticals has invested £75m in a site based at Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, Kent. The site will open in 2024 and support the company's development and production of cannabis-based medicines. The company are planning on installing more than 1,100 solar panels in the new building to try and reduce energy usage.

The move is seen as a "big sign of confidence in the UK life science ecosystem". - Science Minister George Freeman. The minister also stated, "This investment will support the creation of over 100 additional highly skilled jobs in the region, but it is also a sign of UK expertise in cannabinoid science and medicines serving the UK and beyond." 

Jazz Pharmaceuticals presently manufactures the extract, active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulated drug products at Kent Science Park in over 12 buildings with more than 400 employees.The Irish Company founded in Dublin already makes two other medicines at the Kent site. 

"The UK has been our home for over two decades. This strategic investment will help us bring potentially life-changing medicines to more patients who desperately need them in the UK and worldwide." -Chris Tovey, Jazz Pharmaceuticals. 

Who are Jazz Pharmaceuticals?

GW Pharmaceuticals are a pioneer in cannabis-based medicines in the UK. Dublin-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals purchased GW Pharmaceuticals in 2021 for $7.2 billion in a move to grow its neuroscience department. The deal gave Jazz access to Epidiolex, a drug created by GW to treat childhood epilepsy and which was the first cannabinoid-based medicine to receive US approval in 2018.

Thanks to medicinal and recreational marijuana legalisation, a fast-growing pharmaceutical market have emerged, especially in the EU and North America. Medicinal cannabis use was legalised in the UK in November 2018 due to several highly publicised cases of children who have epilepsy experiencing a reduction in their symptoms through the use of cannabis oil.

More than twenty years ago, GW was founded to drive medical innovation for cannabinoid-based medicine. Its most successful and widely used product is Sativex, a drug for people living with multiple sclerosis approved in over 30 countries.

At the time of the merger, Bruce Cozadd, chairman and CEO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, stated: "We are joining two teams that share a passion for, and track record of, developing differentiated therapies that advance science and transform the lives of patients. This will help facilitate successful integration and bring added capabilities to Jazz".

CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals, Justin Gover, said: "We have a shared vision of developing and commercialising innovative medicines that address significant unmet needs in neuroscience and an approach of putting patients first. Together, we will have an opportunity to reach and impact more patients through a broader portfolio of neuroscience-focused therapies."

With this new site being built, Jazz is well on its way to fulfilling its wishes of expanding its portfolio to include treatment for sleeping disorders, oncology, and various epilepsies. The company also hopes to continue growing the medicinal cannabis market, stimulate sustainable growth, and keep the UK on the cutting edge of therapeutic cannabis innovation.




Liz Filmer