Press Release 06 Jul 2009

Company to develop new continuous processing manufacturing technology - a revolutionary approach to pharmaceutical manufacturing

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan TD today (6th July 2009) announced that Pfizer Inc., the world's largest research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company is to invest over €11 million in the establishment of an R&D Kilo Technology Laboratory at its Ringaskiddy site in Cork, with the support of Government through IDA Ireland. The new laboratory will be a dedicated R&D facility within the Process Development Centre (PDC) at the site and will research, develop and create new manufacturing technology for more efficient production processes for Pfizer’s facilities around the world.  A new state-of-the-art development facility incorporating the PDC early stage laboratory and the new Kilo laboratory is currently under construction.

They propose to utilise the new manufacturing technology of continuous processing involving chemistry in a pipe and continuous extraction. Continuous processing technology has been developed for other industries but Pfizer is undertaking state-of-the-art process development for the pharmaceutical industry which has the potential to revolutionise the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and greatly reduce the associated costs of production.

Making the announcement the Tánaiste said “This is a highly strategic project for the pharmaceutical industry and will significantly enhance Ireland’s image as a location for innovative R&D. In addition, as it involves the co-location of substantial R&D and manufacturing it will be a leading example to other global companies of what can be achieved in Ireland. This investment is excellent news for the Cork site as the technology will allow Pfizer to perform specific chemistries that would not otherwise be achievable in standard manufacturing and in so doing will make Ireland a centre-of-excellence and a key Pfizer location for further development of this technology. It will also mean a significant advance in technical innovation for both the Irish operation and for the parent company and is a major extension of the Cork site’s corporate mandate.”

This year Pfizer is celebrating forty years in Ireland. Its Ringaskiddy site, employing over 550 people, consists of four API (bulk pharmaceutical) plants producing a range of material for many of Pfizer’s major products. All of the Lipitor active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in the world and 70% of all Lipitor tablets are produced in Cork by Pfizer, which has eight different operations in Ireland employing a total of 2,000 people.

Dr Paul Duffy, VP Pfizer Manufacturing Ireland/Singapore said “Pfizer in Ireland has a proven track record in relation to process improvement and optimisation. The decision to invest in the Cork PDC was based on demonstrated technical competence with similar projects and the successful completion of a number of R&D programmes. Last year globally Pfizer spent $7.9billion in research and development. This decision demonstrates a clear commitment by Pfizer to growing the R&D capability at the Centre as an integral part of our corporate R&D strategy which is focusing on the development of new, innovative products and developing less costly and more efficient second generation processes of existing products.”


Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world™
Founded in 1849, Pfizer is the world's premier biopharmaceutical company taking new approaches to better health. We discover, develop, manufacture and deliver quality, safe and effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease for both people and animals. We also partner with healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the world to expand access to our medicines and to provide better quality health care and health system support. At Pfizer, more than 80,000 colleagues in more than 90 countries work every day to help people stay happier and healthier longer and to reduce the human and economic burden of disease worldwide.

 
About Pfizer’s Cork Process Development Centre (PDC)
Pfizer is one of Ireland's largest pharmaceutical multinationals and was among the first to set up in Ireland, opening its main Ringaskiddy plant in Cork in 1969. Pfizer has a number of different business operations in Ireland: five manufacturing sites; a sales & marketing presence in human prescription medicines and animal health medicines; a treasury operation and a Global Shared Services business. Pfizer is heavily committed to Ireland, employing over 2,000 people and accounting for a capital investment of well in excess of €1billion.

The Cork PDC is a global research centre for Pfizer Inc. and is designated as the primary centre for second generation process development for existing products, and not solely those manufactured in Ireland, with the aim to reduce costs and increase margins. Pfizer decided to establish the PDC in Cork as a consequence of the skills and capability, with respect to process optimisation and improvement, which existed in the Irish manufacturing sites. The PDC has in-house state-of-the-art laboratory and analytical facilities.

Pfizer in Ireland has a proven track record in relation to process improvement and optimisation. The decision to invest in the Cork PDC was based on demonstrated technical competence with similar projects and the successful completion of a number of R&D programmes. Last year globally Pfizer spent $7.9billion in research and development. This decision demonstrates a clear commitment by Pfizer to growing the R&D capability at the Centre as an integral part of our corporate R&D strategy which is focusing on the development of new, innovative products and developing less costly and more efficient second generation processes of existing products.Dr Paul Duffy, VP Pfizer Manufacturing Ireland/Singapore

Contacts

Pfizer  (Ireland)
Tara Delaney, Director of External Affairs,

Tel : O1 4676500     


IDA Ireland
Gillian Lawless,Press & PR,

Tel : 01-6034190