Brixham, Devon


Minimising the environmental impact of creating life-changing medicines – this is the role of Brixham Environmental Laboratory, our multidisciplinary research centre on the Devon coast.

At Brixham, our scientists test and assess the environmental impact of our products and processes to increase understanding of their environmental effects, as well as ensuring they meet the required regulatory approval.

Understanding and minimising the environmental impact of our work is essential. That’s why, in 2008, we invested £13.1 million in new facilities at Brixham to support research into the environmental effects of potential medicines, prior to their approval for general use.

The facility at Brixham also manages AstraZeneca’s Environmental Research Programme, which provides knowledge and solutions for environmental issues.

As well as to AstraZeneca, the site also provides specialist services to different industry sectors to help them understand the lifecycle of chemicals in our environment and their impact on the ecosystem.

Brixham’s areas of expertise include:

  • Industrial chemicals
  • Human pharmaceuticals
  • Biocidal products
  • Plant protection products
  • Veterinary medicines

Brixham employs around 80 people, nearly half of whom are bench scientists. The site has an excellent reputation and a commitment to the future of applied environmental science education.

Through AstraZeneca’s continued investment in research in the UK, Brixham is now a global leader in the study of industrial environmental science, with some of the most advanced equipment available in the world.



Brixham Laboratory began as a marine research facility in the late 1940s, due to its seafront location and access to clean seawater. It became a focus for environmental science research in the 1960s, and by the late 1980s, Brixham had gained a worldwide reputation.