Pfizer starts work on Missouri biotherapeutics R&D hub

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/Sergey Khakimullin
iStock/Sergey Khakimullin

Related tags Pre-clinical development

Pfizer is building a $200m (€179m) R&D centre in Chesterfield, Missouri at which it will consolidate biotherapeutics process development operations in the region.

The US drug maker started work on the facility yesterday, explaining it will be the base for process development for biologics, vaccines and gene therapies.

The firm also said 450 staff currently working at labs in the St. Louis area will relocate to the new centre by mid-2019.

Pfizer spokeswoman Samantha Reardon told us “the new Chesterfield facility will house a non-GMP manufacturing pilot plant to enable non-GMP studies and research supplies. The scale of the non-GMP manufacturing will be 50-1000L, primarily single use technologies​.”

At present, Pfizer’s operation in Chesterfield is based at a lab in Weldon Spring in leased space at Monsanto’s research campus. Activites include at biotherapeutics R&D and manufacturing for clinical trials.

When the new R&D site is operational clinical manufacturing carried out at the Monsanto campus will relocate to a purpose built facility being constructed in Andover, Massachusetts Reardon said.

Clinical scale cGMP manufacturing operations for biotherapeutics currently housed in Chesterfield will transition to our Andover, Mass. clinical manufacturing facility currently under construction.”

Pfizer says it has more than 60 biotherapeutics in its pipeline, with programmes related to monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, novel proteins, gene therapies, biosimilars and CAR T technologies.

Drug delivery

In addition to biotherapeutics process development and the production of materials for preclinical trials, the Chesterfield facility will also be a base for delivery technology research.

Reardon told us the site will “primarily work on parenteral liquid and lyophilized drug product presentations with a variety of pre-filled syringe and auto injector technologies. We are also continuously evaluating next generation delivery technologies as part of our R&D efforts​.”     

Pfizer expects the Chesterfield facility to create 80 new jobs.

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