Contract Manufacturer Acquires Pfizer’s Tennessee Plant

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Contract Manufacturer Acquires Pfizer’s Tennessee Plant

Related tags Manufacturing

UPM Pharmaceuticals will acquire Pfizer’s commercial manufacturing facility in Bristol, Tennessee to scale up its capacity as a contract manufacturer.

The 500,000 square-foot site will provide UPM with large scale commercial capabilities for manufacturing and packaging of solid oral dosage tablets and capsules, as well as semi-solid manufacturing of creams and ointments.

As part of the acquisition, UPM will manufacture Pfizer’s current portfolio of products within the facility for two years.

Fran Spaven, PhD, VP of contracting and drug development services at UPM told that this will be the first time the company works with Pfizer. Some layoffs at the manufacturing site are expected, though Spaven said UPM is “trying to keep as many employees as possible​” to support ongoing manufacturing.

UPM currently only manufactures one product, though Spaven noted that this new site will offer additional capacity and discussions to transfer the manufacturing of its one product “will be worked out with the current client​.” She declined to disclose the cost of the site.

The facility will also allow for analytical and microbial testing and the production of potent compounds.

In 2011, Pfizer announced plans to close the site, though in a flyer advertising the sale of the site, the company said it invested more than $30M into the facility over the past four years. That investment upgraded and added new manufacturing and support facilities including:

  • A new pilot plant to support development work on new DEA Schedule II oral solid dosage products including down flow booths, formulation, mixing, blending, encapsulation, capsule sealing and check weighing;
  • Commercial scale manufacturing space and equipment to support newly developed DEA Schedule II products; and
  • Additional formulation and tableting capacity.

UPM President James E. Gregory, said, “The new facility will give UPM the capability to annually produce 3.5 billion tablets and 680 million capsules; this will be a dramatic growth opportunity for our company and our clients​.”

UPM will now be able to offer its clients the opportunity to transition from early stage formulation development to commercialization, as well as the associated lab support.

Pfizer acquired the facility from King Pharmaceuticals in late 2010, and King was founded by UPM’s current chairman and CEO John Gregory.

John Kelly, VP of strategy and transitioning sites at Pfizer said, “UPM leaders have experience with this site, and are familiar with our colleagues and the products we manufacture there​.”

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