Measuring Growth in Big Pharma's Manufacturing Investment

Pharmaceutical Technology's annual manufacturing investment update shows slight gains in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and emerging markets and continued restructuring of supply networks.
Aug 02, 2012
Volume 36, Issue 8

Measured growth. That is the best way to sum up the manufacturing investment activity of the pharmaceutical majors during the past year. Companies continue to implement restructuring programs as a way to reduce costs and optimize their manufacturing and supply networks. Investment, when it is made, is primarily in biologic-based manufacturing and emerging markets, with a few select projects proceeding in established product and geographic markets.

Company investment

Pfizer: Pfizer continues with plans to restructure its manufacturing network following its $68-billion acquisition of Wyeth in 2009. Following the acquisition, Pfizer's manufacturing sites totaled 81, and other acquisitions added 20 manufacturing sites. Pfizer subsequently exited nine sites and operated 90 plants as of the end of 2011, with major manufacturing facilities in Belgium, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the United States. It plans to exit a further 10 sites during the next several years.

After the acquisition of Wyeth in 2009, Pfizer operated 20 R&D sites and has restructured its R&D operations, which involved several site closures, including its R&D facility in Sandwich, United Kingdom, except for a small presence there. In 2011, Pfizer rationalized several other R&D sites. It disposed of its toxicology site in Catania, Italy; exited its R&D sites in Aberdeen and Gosport, UK; and disposed of a vacant site in St. Louis, Missouri. Pfizer also shifted its cardiovascular, metabolic and endocrine disease and neuroscience research units from its site in Groton, Connecticut, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it signed a lease with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with occupancy anticipated in early 2014. In 2011, Pfizer opened Centers for Therapeutic Innovation laboratories in Boston, New York, and South San Francisco.

Novartis. In 2010, Novartis initiated a company-wide program to review its manufacturing footprint, which progressed in 2011, with major goals to create manufacturing centers of excellence, reduce its cost structure, and enhance utilization rates at strategic sites to 80% of capacity. To these ends, the company has announced the exit or partial exit of 14 sites since the program started in 2010. In Liverpool, UK, and Marburg, Germany, Novartis discontinued certain manufacturing activities to consolidate its influenza-vaccine platforms. Novartis also divested the pharmaceuticals division's sites in Casablanca, Morocco, and Huningue, France, and Sandoz (the generic-drug business of Novartis) sites in Jena, Germany, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The company also discontinued pharmaceuticals manufacturing at sites in Tlalpan, Mexico, and Horsham, UK, and exited CIBA Vision production sites in Cidra, Puerto Rico, and Farnham, UK. Additionally, the company announced the discontinuation of certain manufacturing activities at its CIBA Vision site in Atlanta, Georgia, and the consolidation of pharmaceutical chemical operations in Switzerland, as well as closure of its chemical operations in Torre, Italy.

Novartis continues to make progress in the long-term redevelopment of its St. Johann headquarters site in Basel, Switzerland. This project, called "Campus," started in 2001 with the aim of transforming the site from one of primarily pharmaceutical production into a center of knowledge with a primary emphasis on international corporate functions and research activities. Through Dec. 31, 2011, the total amount paid and committed to be paid on the Campus Project was $2.1 billion. The company expects that through 2015, it will spend more than $2.5 billion and transfer production facilities to other sites in the Basel region.

lorem ipsum