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Potential loss of Irish jobs at Pfizer

About 160 manufacturing jobs at Pfizer's premises in Little Island, Cork face uncertainty after it was announced that a potential sale of the facility has fallen through
About 160 manufacturing jobs at Pfizer's premises in Little Island, Cork face uncertainty after it was announced that a potential sale of the facility has fallen through.

Pfizer had been planning to manufacture a new drug, Torcetrapib at its Irish plants, however, safety concerns about the anti-cholesterol drug led to its withdrawal from clinical trials in the US. Soon after the withdrawal the company announced a global workforce reduction of 10 per cent and a halving of production sites to just 50 worldwide.

As part of a rationalisation project announced in 2007, a portion of the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) at the Little Island site and all API marketing at its Loughbeg site are being phased out during 2008 and 2009. Pfizer is hoping to sell these facilities as going concerns, therefore retaining the workforce.

A spokesperson for Pfizer said: "Reports of job losses at Pfizer Ireland are speculative and premature. Pfizer announced in February 2007 that it was seeking to sell two of its manufacturing facilities as going concerns. In recent days the due diligence process with a company interested in one of its sites concluded without a positive result. However, both sites remain for sale and, indeed, one of the sites is currently engaged with a number of interested parties."

In September 2007, Pfizer announced the planned closure of manufacturing operations in Sandwich, Kent with an expected loss of around 420 roles over two years.

4th July 2008

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