AstraZeneca is investing $100 million at its drug research centre near Boston, Massachusetts, to “strategically boost work in the infectious disease area” and to expand its cancer R&D.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said the expansion would accommodate up to 100 additional researchers who will join more than 400 existing employees at the site. Construction of the new 132,000 square foot unit at Waltham will begin during the first quarter of 2007 with completion scheduled by mid- 2009.

Chief executive David Brennan said the investment “will significantly boost our research capabilities in two critical areas of medical need, and two areas where we have tremendous heritage, ” noting that it will provide “additional resources for our scientists who are tackling more complex diseases than ever before.”