Big Pharma's Manufacturing Strategy: What is the Next Move? - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Big Pharma's Manufacturing Strategy: What is the Next Move?
Pharmaceutical Technology's annual analysis of the pharmaceutical majors' activities shows a shrinking global manufacturing network amidst company restructuring, product intensification in biologics, and a strategic focus and push to emerging markets.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 34, Issue 8, pp. 32-38

The company's restructuring in its manufacturing network follows a reorganization of its R&D operations announced in November 2008, which included the formation of a BioTherapeutics division focused on large molecules and vaccine research and a Pharma Therapeutics division focused on small-molecule discovery and drug-delivery technologies. Pfizer will have five main research sites that will serve as central hubs for research activities in its BioTherapeutics and Pharma Therapeutics divisions and vaccines business. These sites will be: Cambridge, Massachusetts; Groton, Connecticut; Pearl River, New York; La Jolla, California; and Sandwich, England. These research-oriented laboratories will be supplemented by specialized research capabilities such as monoclonal antibody discovery in San Francisco, regenerative medicine work in Cambridge, England, and R&D activities in Shanghai.


Table II: Top 50 pharmaceutical companies (Rankings 26–50).
As part of the plan to consolidate its research sites, Pfizer will significantly reduce R&D activities at some of its sites. The company will move several functions from Collegeville, Pennsylvania; Pearl River, New York; and St. Louis to other locations and will discontinue R&D operations in Princeton, New Jersey; Chazy, Rouses Point, and Plattsburgh, New York; Sanford and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and Gosport, Slough/Taplow, England. In addition, Pfizer will consolidate R&D functions from its New London, Connecticut, site to its nearby research facility in Groton.

As a result of these changes, Pfizer will reduce its global R&D square footage by 35%. R&D activities will be conducted at five main sites and nine specialized units around the world, compared with the 20 R&D sites that were active upon the closing of the acquisition of Wyeth on Oct. 16, 2009.

Merck & Co. In July 1010, Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ) released details of a restructuring plan, which calls for phasing out operations at eight research sites and eight manufacturing sites, thusresulting in a 15% reduction of its global workforce. The measures are part of an overall integration plan that Merck is implementing following the $41-billion acquisition of Schering-Plough (Kenilworth, NJ) in 2009. Merck plans to reduce its manufacturing network from 91 facilities at the close of the Schering-Plough merger to 77 facilities. This further involves 29 animal-health facilities that are the subject of the planned joint venture of Intervet Schering-Plough with sanofi-aventis's (Paris) Merial, which are not included in the restructuring program.


A balance of internal and external manufacturing: Eli Lilly and Evonik
Beginning in the second half of 2010, Merck will phase out operations at eight manufacturing facilities, and these sites will exit its global network as activities are transferred to other locations. The company intends to cease manufacturing activities at the following facilities: Comazzo, Italy; Cacem, Portugal; Azcapotzalco and Coyoacan, Mexico; and Santo Amaro, Brazil. The company intends to sell its Mirador, Argentina, and Miami Lakes, Florida, facilities. In Singapore, chemical manufacturing will be phased out at the legacy Merck site, but it will continue at the legacy Schering-Plough site. The company's pharmaceutical manufacturing operations will continue at these two Singapore facilities. Merck says it will continue to make new strategic investments, particularly in emerging markets such as Latin America, where the company is investing in facilities in Xochimilco, Mexico, and Campinas, Brazil.

Merck plans to phase out operations at eight research sites during the next two years. These sites include: Montreal, Canada; Boxmeer (Nobilon facility only), Oss, and Schaijk, The Netherlands; Odense, Denmark; Waltrop, Germany; Newhouse, Scotland; and Cambridge (Kendall Square), Massachusetts. The resulting new research network will include 16 major R&D facilities worldwide. The company's research division will retain its focus on the seven key therapeutic franchise areas of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, infectious disease, oncology, neuroscience and ophthalmology, respiratory and immunology, and women's health and endocrine. Merck's women's-health research, currently centered in Oss, The Netherlands, will be relocated primarily to the United States.


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