Wednesday 19 June 2019

Pfizer scraps its plans for €400m Dublin plant expansion

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has scrapped their planned €400m expansion of an Irish plant which would have seen 350 permanently employed staff along with 1,250 construction jobs.. Photo: Reuters
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has scrapped their planned €400m expansion of an Irish plant which would have seen 350 permanently employed staff along with 1,250 construction jobs.. Photo: Reuters
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has scrapped their planned €400m expansion of an Irish plant which would have seen 350 permanently employed staff along with 1,250 construction jobs.

The company, which manufactures medicines in Ireland for global distribution, sought planning permission earlier this year for a major extension to its Grange Castle plant in Dublin.

However, following a decision to discontinue the development of bococizumab, a drug that aims to reduce cholesterol, the expansion at will not go ahead.

In a statement, Pfizer said it had discovered unexpected side effects with the drug and that it was becoming less effective over time.

It also noted two rival drugs had been struggling to meet sales targets and as a result, the company decided to discontinue development of the drug.

“As a company, we understand that developing new and important medicines for patients is a critical, but difficult undertaking,” said Pfizer spokesperson Dr James Rusnak,

“Accordingly, we continually evaluate our development programs as data emerge to support prudent decisions that provide value both to the patients we serve and our shareholders.

“We are disappointed by this outcome, but remain committed to investing in innovation, concentrating our pipeline on areas where we can bring transformational therapies to address unmet needs, including in patients with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. We thank the investigators, their patients, and support staff who have participated in this important research program,” he said.

Pfizer had expected bococizumab to deliver sales of almost $1 billion a year.

The pharmaceutical company had nearly 30,000 people enrolled in late-stage trials of the drug at the time it announced they will abandon the drug’s development.

Pfizer had sought permission in July for the 34,500sq m expansion on the 36-acre site “contingent upon the continued successful clinical development of investigational compounds in Pfizer’s mid- and late-stage pipeline”.

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