Pfizer to Kiss Its Adelaide Operations Goodbye in 2021, Putting 89 Jobs on the Line

Published: Feb 09, 2017

Pfizer to Kiss Its Adelaide Operations Goodbye in 2021, Putting 89 Jobs on the Line February 9, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

NEW YORK – Pfizer has plans to close a manufacturing facility in Adelaide, Australia by 2021 as part of an effort to consolidate its drug manufacturing operations.

The plant closure is expected to impact 89 employees who could lose their jobs, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported this morning. The announcement by Pfizer came less than 12 months after the company announced it planned to expand that site into a “state-of-the-art” facility, ABC reported. In March, Pfizer planned on investing $21 million to expand the facility that manufactures the injectable drug pegfilgrastim, which is used to reduce infections in cancer patients. The upgrades to the facility were not expected to include any new rounds of hiring, ABC reported in 2016. However, with the upgrades to the facility, the plant was expected to bring approximately $380 million to the economy in South Australia over the next seven years.

Fast forward to today and the facility is being shuttered.

"This has been a difficult decision, and was based on a number of factors including the existing capacity within Pfizer's global manufacturing network and the efficiency of consolidating manufacturing to fewer locations," the company said in a statement to ABC.

Pfizer told ABC that it would look to “redeploy” the Adelaide employees, as opposed to terminating them.

In the U.S., Pfizer shuttered some of the manufacturing facilities it gained through its 2015 $15 billion acquisition of Illinois-based Hospira, Inc. When it acquired Hospira, Pfizer gained several manufacturing facilities across the United States, including one in Boulder, Colo., Austin, Texas, Buffalo, N.Y. and McPherson, Kan. In 2015, the company consolidated three R&D operations in Cambridge, Mass. under one roof.

Earlier this month, Pfizer announced it could sell off a number of its non-core assets in cardiology, urology and primary care in order to raise cash and streamline its portfolio. During Pfizer’s annual report, Chief Executive Officer Ian Read said the company was anticipating more generic competition this year, but was also expecting to continue to engage in M&A activity to create shareholder value. Despite its M&A activity last year and expected M&A activity this year, Pfizer has hopes that its pipeline will spin out five drug approvals over the next year. That includes avelumab, a PD-L1 inhibitor used for the treatment of metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule on avelumab later this year.

In January, Pfizer announced it had cancelled three pipeline programs: PF-06291874, in Phase II trials for type 2 diabetes, PF-06815345 in Phase I for hyperlipidemia, and PF-06412562 for cognitive disorder.

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