The facility in Boulder, Colorado was added to Pfizer’s manufacturing following the Big Pharma’s $17bn (€15bn) acquisition of drugmaker Hospira last September, but according to company spokesperson Joan Campion the site has now been earmarked for closure.
“As part of the integration of Hospira, Pfizer conducted a thorough evaluation of the combined manufacturing network to ensure that overall capacity is most effectively utilized relative to projected product demands,” she told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
“As a result of this evaluation, a decision has been made to exit the legacy Hospira plant located in Boulder, Colorado by 2019.”
Under Hospira’s tenure, the plant was hit by a number of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) From 483s, but any former quality problems were not a factor in this decision. “The primary driver for exiting the Boulder plant is under-utilisation,” Campion confirmed.
The plant manufactures a number of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), including paclitaxel, tromethamine, and irinotecan, which are now set to be transferred to other sites within Pfizer’s supply network.
Meanwhile, more than a hundred staff at the Boulder facility could lose their jobs.
“We’re evaluating our options for the Boulder plant, which may include facilitating the sale of the site, which is currently leased,” Campion added.
The Colorado plant is the first site casualty of the potential $1bn of operational synergies expected by Pfizer after the Hospira deal.
Following Pfizer’s $68bn megamerger with Wyeth in 2009, the firm’s manufacturing network grew to 78 sites worldwide, a figure which had been reduced to 55 by the end of 2014. The addition of Hospira added 15 more production sites, and an additional 19,000 staff.