AstraZeneca's delay-ridden HQ project now has a $1B price tag


2019-06-17 09:05:00 FiercePharma


AstraZeneca has taken a lot of heat for its massive new headquarters and R&D facility in Cambridge, U.K., which has been beset by everything from cost overruns to a four-year completion delay. So it’s no wonder the drugmaker buried the latest details about the project on page 27 of its 244-page annual report. AstraZeneca originally planned to spend £330 million on the new building and to start shifting employees there in 2016. Now, the cost has zoomed to £750 million, which translates to roughly $952 million, according to the annual report (PDF). As for the move-in date, the drugmaker is no longer expecting the site to be “fully operational” in 2020, as it previously promised. Instead it will “start occupation” of the site sometime that year. So what’s driving the added costs and delays now? AstraZeneca blamed “the complexity of the build” as well as construction cost inflation due to a weakening pound. The company has also upped its investment in complex technologies such as genomics equipment, it said. “We remain committed to the design principles of the site and making it a great place to work,” the company said in the annual report. Perhaps, but what should have been a routine upgrading of AstraZeneca’s corporate home seems to have turned into a never-ending soap opera. First the company struggled to recruit enough contractors to keep the project on schedule. Then a high water table at the site required design changes and remedial work. It all came to a head last summer when AstraZeneca fired its original chief contractor, Skanska, and replaced it with Mace, which started its work at the site in November. The new headquarters is part of a broader plan at AstraZeneca to upgrade its operational capabilities. It has been updating its manufacturing facility in Macclesfield, U.K., for example, making a $50 million investment on new packaging capabilities and improving the efficiency of the plant. That led to a layoff of 94 employees there in March. AstraZeneca also cut 210 manufacturing workers in the U.S., after closing two Colorado plants in January and consolidating its efforts at a large facility in Frederick, Maryland. The company is planning to move employees from an R&D center in Cheshire, U.K., to the new Cambridge site. The long-term plan is to have non-lab employees “co-located” there and “near our key scientific, research and clinical partners,” the annual report says. Toward that end, AstraZeneca is updating the master plan for the Cambridge site. As for the nearly $1 billion price tag now attached to that site, AstraZeneca plans to fund it “out of operational cash flows.”
阿斯利康( AstraZeneca )在英国剑桥( Cambridge )新建了庞大的总部和研发设施,为此付出了大量的努力。从成本超支到延迟4年完工,阿斯利康一直饱受困扰。因此,难怪制药商在其244页的年度报告第27页中披露了该项目的最新细节。 阿斯利康(AstraZeneca)最初计划在新建筑上投资3.3亿英镑,并在2016年开始在那里转移员工。根据年度报告( PDF ),如今,成本已增至7.5亿英镑,约合9.52亿美元。 至于搬迁日期,制药商正如之前承诺的那样,预计2020年该网站将不再“全面运营”。相反,它将在当年某个时候“开始占领”该网站。 那么,现在是什么导致成本增加和延误呢?阿斯利康(AstraZeneca)将英镑贬值归咎于“建筑的复杂性”以及建筑成本通胀。该公司还加大了对基因组学设备等复杂技术的投资。 该公司在年度报告中表示:“我们仍致力于网站的设计原则,并将其打造成一个很好的工作场所。” 或许,但阿斯利康( AstraZeneca )的企业总部的例行升级似乎已变成一部永不停歇的肥皂剧。首先,该公司努力招聘足够多的承包商来保证项目如期进行。然后在一个高水位的现场需要设计变更和补救工作。 去年夏天阿斯利康( AstraZeneca )解雇了原总承包商斯堪斯卡( Skanska ),并用去年11月开始在该网站工作的 Mace 取代了阿斯利康。 新总部是阿斯利康(AstraZeneca)提升运营能力的更广泛计划的一部分。例如,该公司一直在更新其在英国 Macclesfield 的生产设施,在新的包装能力和提高工厂效率方面投资5000万美元。这导致该公司在3月份裁员94人。 阿斯利康(AstraZeneca)还削减了美国210名制造业工人,1月份关闭了科罗拉多州的两家工厂,并巩固了在马里兰州弗雷德里克的一家大型工厂的努力。 该公司计划将员工从英国柴郡的研发中心转移到剑桥的新网站。该年度报告称,长期计划是让非实验室员工“同地办公”,并“靠近我们的关键科学、研究和临床合作伙伴”。为此,阿斯利康(AstraZeneca)正在更新剑桥网站的总体规划。 至于该网站目前的近10亿美元价格,阿斯利康(AstraZeneca)计划“从运营现金流中”为其提供资金。