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Pfizer increases biologics plant capacity

Pfizer says it has funded a USD 50m expansion of its Chesterfield biologics pilot plant in the US state of Missouri, according to local media reports

Pfizer has revealed a USD 50m expansion of its Chesterfield biologics pilot plant in the US state of Missouri, according to local media reports.

The world number one pharmaceutical company has almost doubled the size of its facility by adding 4,645 square metres in order to compete in the lucrative biologics market.

The biologic expansion spend runs counter to recent cost-cutting measures instituted at the firm, which has experienced a number of patent expiries and loss of income due to increased generic competition.

Pfizer has trimmed 10 per cent of its global workforce and has also shed 20 per cent of its EU sales force to save over USD 1bn by the end of 2008. The company also wants to reduce the number of its manufacturing sites from 93 to 48 by Q4 2008. The action includes the closure of five R&D sites and the relocation of projects to the remaining facilities and external sites.

Despite the cuts, Pfizer says it wants 20 per cent of its pipeline product portfolio contained within the biologics sector by 2009.

Pfizer stated in its FY06 annual report that it will increase resources dedicated to biotherapies with a view to launching one product per year within 10 years, while strengthening their antibody platform and building up the vaccine business.

Construction of the Chesterfield plant is expected to complete by the end of 2009, with operations scheduled to begin by H2 2010.

23rd August 2007

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