Pfizer to invest additional £408m in gene therapy facility in US

WCN Editorial Team 23 Aug 2019 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

American pharmaceutical company Pfizer has announced an additional $500m (£408m) investment in a gene therapy manufacturing facility being constructed in Sanford, North Carolina.

The facility is expected to support the company’s ongoing investment in gene therapy research and development, similar to the research and development sites in Chapel Hill and Kit Creek in North Carolina.

The new facility is expected to expand Pfizer’s presence in North Carolina, where the company currently has more than 3,600 employees, including 650 in Sanford.

Pfizer said that it expects to add nearly 300 new jobs at the expanded facility.

Besides gene therapy operations, Pfizer’s Sanford facility also manufactures components for the company’s vaccine portfolio, including Prevnar 13 and several vaccines currently in research pipeline.

Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group president Angela Hwang said: “At Pfizer, our purpose is breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. We’re excited to build this new state-of-the-art facility in Sanford because it will have the potential to help us develop novel methods to deliver transformative treatments to patients.”

Pfizer expects to boost its ability to produce and supply clinical- and commercial-scale quantities of critical, potentially life-changing gene therapy medicines by expanding its manufacturing footprint in Sanford.

The new facility will help advance the company’s work in manufacturing potentially one-time gene therapies that use custom-made recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors.

Pfizer global supply president Mike McDermott said: “This investment will further strengthen Pfizer’s leadership in gene therapy manufacturing technology.

“The expansion of the Sanford site is expected to create hundreds of highly skilled jobs, which would increase Sanford’s high-tech manufacturing environment and is part of our overall plan to invest approximately $5 billion in U.S.-based capital projects over the next several years.”

The company is expanding its end-to-end capabilities in gene therapy in North Carolina by investing in facilities that focus on all stages of research, development and manufacturing.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said: “North Carolina is a leader in life sciences in part because of our long-standing partnership with Pfizer. Today we mark another boost to our state and we are proud of the people conducting life-saving research in Sanford.”

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Image: Pfizer World Headquarters in Manhattan, New York. Photo: Courtesy of Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons.

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