Pfizer inks deal to snatch Abzena's new North Carolina manufacturing site
Pfizer has scored itself a brand new manufacturing facility in Sanford, NC, about 40 miles south of the bustling Research Triangle Park.
The pharma giant inked a deal to acquire Abzena’s manufacturing plant, which boasts “extensive capabilities” for the production of biologics drug substance, the companies announced on Tuesday. While they’re keeping the financial figures under wraps for now, Pfizer said the deal is expected to close this quarter.
Construction is ongoing at the location, which Abzena selected back in April 2021 for its “access to a talented workforce and other resources.” Abzena said at the time that the new facility would cost more than $200 million and create about 325 jobs in Sanford.
While just 100 employees work there now, Pfizer expects to bring that number up to about 300 by 2025, bringing its total North Carolina workforce to around 4,500, according to a news release. The pharma giant has poured $5 billion into its US manufacturing capabilities over the last five years, including $1.4 billion in North Carolina.
“Biologics continue to be an integral part of Pfizer’s pipeline and this acquisition will expand our research, clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity and help us accelerate the development of our pipeline products as well as support our Pfizer CentreOne customers,” said Pfizer’s executive VP and chief global supply officer Mike McDermott said in the release.
Abzena and Pfizer’s CentreOne contract manufacturing unit will collaborate on biologics going forward, the companies said.
The Sanford facility was Abzena’s only site in North Carolina, though the San Diego-based company lists other locations in California, Pennsylvania and the UK.
The new facility is near Pfizer’s existing Rocky Mount and Sanford manufacturing sites, McDermott noted, and close to a buzzy biotech hub. Just last month, Catalent unveiled plans to build a new biologics analytical center in Durham, NC. And in November, Fujifilm Irvine Scientific announced its parent company Fujifilm is dumping $188 million into a cell culture media manufacturing site in Research Triangle Park.