NEW HAVEN, April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pfizer Inc today marked the grand opening of a $35 million state-of-the-art clinical research unit (CRU) to confirm the safety and action of potential new medicines. The 62,500 square-foot, 3-story facility includes 50 beds and employs about 50 staff.
At the CRU, study volunteers will receive potential medicines that have cleared several years of safety studies in the laboratory. Some of these Phase I studies will be undertaken in collaboration with nearby Yale University School of Medicine, a world leader in imaging technology. Using PET (positron emission tomography) and other scanning technology, Yale scientists will be able to track exactly where medicines work in the body. This will help researchers better understand the medicines' effects.
The phase I unit is the fourth unit of its kind owned and operated by Pfizer. Other units are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Brussels, Belgium; and Singapore.
"The speed with which this facility was built is testimony to the power of strong partnership and to the climate for business and academic excellence that Connecticut and New Haven have so painstakingly built," said Hank McKinnell, chairman and chief executive of Pfizer Inc. "The people who work here will both extend the lives of millions of others around the world and extend Connecticut's lead in building the industries of the future."
"Pfizer is poised to make a tremendous contribution to New Haven, not only through its valuable research but also through the jobs and investment it is making in our community," said New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. "I know Pfizer will feel at home in the cultural, educational and medical capital of Connecticut."
As with all pharmaceutical research, safety will be top priority at the unit. Extensive safety testing is undertaken before medicines in development are given to human volunteers. All volunteers will be carefully briefed about the medicine and the purpose of the study before they are enrolled. A federally monitored Investigational Review Board will monitor the design and conduct of all trials.
The CRU is part of Pfizer's Groton/New London operations and is designed to provide comprehensive clinical capability and cutting edge technology. In addition to clinical facilities, the CRU houses sophisticated laboratories to perform safety and biomarker studies plus a research pharmacy.
Clinicians from Pfizer sites around the world will be able to monitor the progress of Pfizer clinical trials performed at the facility from their desktops in real time, allowing them to make rapid decisions. At all times, volunteer confidentiality will be protected.
"By utilizing the cutting-edge technologies at the CRU, our staff will work with colleagues at other Pfizer R&D sites around the world to identify the clinical value of new medicines allowing researchers to focus on the most promising breakthroughs," said Dr. Diane Jorkasky, vice president of Clinical Pharmacology at Pfizer.
Architects and engineers for this facility were the S/L/A/M Collaborative, of Glastonbury, CT. Whiting Turner of Baltimore, MD, provided construction management services.
The project team for the CRU has been recognized, both on the state and national level, for including environmentally sound features in the building's construction. The CRU has been registered with the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facility. It is the first Pfizer-constructed LEED certified facility, and New Haven's first biomedical research building with this distinction.
Earlier this month, Pfizer announced that it would invest $8 billion in 2005 toward its search for new medicines for serious conditions including cancer, diabetes, eye diseases, infections, inflammation, mental illness, obesity, pain, respiratory disorders and diseases of the nervous system like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
Pfizer Global Research and Development is headquartered in New London, CT and has major research sites in Groton/New London, CT; Ann Arbor/Kalamazoo, MI; St. Louis, MO; La Jolla, CA; Sandwich, England; and Nagoya, Japan. Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals, and many of the world's best-known consumer brands.
NOTE: Those interested in volunteering at the Clinical Research Unit can contact CRU staff at http://www.newhavencru.com/ or call 1-800-254-6398.
Web sites: http://www.pfizer.com http://www.newhavencru.com
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