Company news: GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Nature Publishing

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GlaxoSmithKline is building its first new UK factory in almost 40 years, the firm said, spurring jobs while breaking new ground at some of its current locations. GSK's new £350 million ($555.3 million) factory in Ulverston, Cumbria will be dedicated to biopharmaceutical manufacturing, part of a larger investment which includes an additional £100 million ($158.7 million) investment at its Montrose and Irvine sites in Scotland. These additional investments will bring the Montrose site into the vaccine fold, allowing it to produce aluminum adjuvants. The new cash will expand the Irvine site's capacity to produce antibiotics. The company said it expects the new projects will create 1,000 jobs over their lifetime.

The High Court in the UK declared the patent for AstraZeneca's anti-psychotic Seroquel XR invalid. The firm has been defending its patents in several jurisdictions, including the Netherlands, which upheld the patent protection, and in the US and Spain, where the courts have yet to decide. The challenge was brought by competitors including Accord Healthcare, Intas and Teva. The latest decision is another loss for AstraZeneca, which is trying to ward off generics – the FDA denied its petition to block generic versions of first-generation Seroquel earlier this month.

Nature Publishing Group said it is launching a new open-access peer-reviewed journal, Emerging Microbes and Infections. The journal's focus will include new microbes, drug resistance and immunity evasion. It is the company's 13th journal in the Asia-Pacific region and will be overseen by an 86-member editorial board and two co-Editors-in-Chief. The company said it expects the publication to go live in July.

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