Pfizer and Eikon Expand East Coast Presence with New York Facilities


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The New York City area is attracting pharmaceutical companies seeking to expand operations, including Pfizer and Eikon Therapeutics.

Pfizer Invests Big Bucks to Open mRNA R&D Facility

Pharma giant Pfizer is looking to strengthen its grip on messenger RNA (mRNA) research and development after seeing great success with the COVID-19 vaccine that was co-developed with BioNTech. With a $470 million investment, the new facility will be located at Pfizer's campus in Pearl River, New York, just 25 miles outside of New York City. This location is notably close to Pfizer headquarters in Manhattan.

Steve Bjornson, chief operating officer of vaccine research and development and vice president, explained the decision to open a new facility.

“This is a critical time for vaccine science, and we’re at the center of it and we want to stay there,” he said. “When anyone thinks of Pfizer, I hope they think of vaccines - and that we are, in effect, the best and most advanced mRNA player in the world.”

Bjornson also cited a need for additional space and his hopes that mRNA research has potential beyond the COVID-19 vaccine. Remedying the space constraints is a 260,000 square-foot blueprint for the new facility, complete with 55,000 square feet of laboratory space. Construction is scheduled to conclude in early 2026.

Despite the company’s success with the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, additional players have entered the vaccine COVID-19 vaccine market, lighting a competitive fire under Pfizer. Most recently, Novavax’s non-mRNA vaccine received a nod from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, securing a spot for the company in the United States.

Eikon Means Business with NYC Expansion 

Elsewhere, the rapidly evolving Eikon Therapeutics announced plans to open a 25,000-square-foot facility in New York City. The space will house offices and laboratories serving as a new base of operations. In addition to the offices and labs, the additional square footage leaves room for the development of clinical operations and a new talent pool.

Roger Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., president, CEO and chairman of Eikon Therapeutics, commented on the expansion.

“Eikon is proud to join the community of life science companies based in the New York City region, and we are privileged to have Dr. Roy Baynes to lead this expansion,” he said. “Roy’s deep expertise in clinical development positions us to attract gifted physician-scientists to Eikon’s research enterprise.”

The New York facility announcement comes just over a month after the company’s announcement of intentions to expand into the San Francisco Bay Area. With a presence in New York City as well as the Bay Area, it is clear that Eikon recognizes the importance of these two biotech and pharma research hubs.

Eikon earned third place on BioSpace’s NextGen Bio “Class of 2022”, a reflection of the pioneering work coming from the company’s efforts. A Series B financing round yielded $517.8 million which will fund high-performance computing and advanced engineering techniques to propel the company’s drug development platform forward. Perhaps the most notable development from Eikon is a super-resolution microscopy method.

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