North East England has a thriving pharmaceuticals sector that is supported by a wider, world-renowned life sciences offer.

Our highly developed scientific and engineering skills have attracted global pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing companies, and we have some of the most recognised research, product development, testing and manufacturing facilities in the world.

Together with our outstanding capabilities in health research, digitalisation in manufacturing and smart packaging, the North East provides pharmaceutical companies with everything they need to grow.

Global pharmaceutical excellence

North East England has an established manufacturing sector including international pharmaceuticals manufacturers with deep sector knowledge and a global outlook. It is a highly efficient sector, which achieves its competitiveness through lean working practices, upskilling, reducing or mitigating costs, increasing quality and supply agility.

Large global pharmaceutical manufacturers located in the region include GSK, MSD, Accord Healthcare, Pharmaron, Arcinova, Sterling Pharma Solutions, Fujifilm Diosynth and Piramal. The North East is also home to two of the UK’s largest specials manufactures – Quantum Pharma and The Specials Laboratory.

The North East also has a thriving SME base working closely with industrial partners and academic institutions innovation assets in formulation, novel therapies and biologics.

They all innovate, develop, test and distribute life-saving medications across the globe and are aided by our stable, cost-competitive and productive workforce.

Our major strengths include high-potency manufacturing and continuous manufacturing, and we have pharmaceutical development capabilities in small molecule pharmaceuticals and expertise in biologics development and manufacture. We have companies operating in all areas of the drug development pipeline.

North East England has full capability in the pharmaceutical value chain, including pre-clinical drug discovery and development, clinical research and development, clinical trial management, pilot-scale manufacturing, full-scale pharmaceutical ingredient and intermediate manufacturing, as well as final product formulation, packaging and distribution.

Exceptional facilities and workforce

Our vibrant research and innovation community features world-leading life sciences companies, a research-active public health system and a strong research and clinical trials network.

The North East has a highly skilled talent pool, with 7,000 people currently employed in life sciences and a further 116,000 in the manufacturing sector. The region is extremely well-connected by excellent rail, road, air and port networks that offer great export potential to the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.

Supporting your move to the North East

Life sciences companies choosing to locate in North East England will benefit from a wide range of business support and cluster networks primed to offer guidance and advice across a range of topics. To support a smooth transition to the region, Invest North East England can provide a range of services, including property searches, data on skills and guidance on incentives, as well as making introductions to specialist networks that can offer guidance and links to potential customers, opportunities and R&D support.

Speak to our Pharmaceuticals Specialist

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Michelle Duggan
Inward Investment Manager
M: 07464 649 579


7000+ life science employees7000+ life science employees
125+ life science graduate & postgraduate course125+ life science graduate & postgraduate course
Centres of excellence in Personalised Medicine, Digital Health, Advanced Therapies, Biopharma ManufacturingCentres of excellence in Personalised Medicine, Digital Health, Advanced Therapies, Biopharma Manufacturing
Exceptional facilities for R+D and science. Newcastle Helix, CPI, International Centre for Life, NET ParkExceptional facilities for R+D and science. Newcastle Helix, CPI, International Centre for Life, NET Park

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