Pfizer Investing $500M, Adding 300 Jobs at Sanford Gene-Therapy Facility

August 21, 2019

Pfizer is investing an additional $500 million in constructing a gene-therapy manufacturing facility at its operations in Sanford, North Carolina, adding about 300 new jobs in the process, according to a company press release.

Pfizer currently employs 650 people in Sanford. The new facility will support Pfizer’s continuing investment in gene therapy research and development, similar to Pfizer’s research and development sites in Chapel Hill and Kit Creek in Morrisville. Pfizer employs more than 3,600 people in North Carolina.

In addition to its gene therapy operations, Pfizer’s Sanford facility manufactures components for the company’s vaccine portfolio, including Prevnar 13 and several vaccines currently in Pfizer’s research pipeline, the press release says.

By expanding its manufacturing footprint in Sanford, Pfizer expects to strengthen its ability to produce and supply both clinical- and commercial-scale quantities of potentially life-changing gene therapy medicines to patients living with rare diseases around the world, the release says. Specifically, the new facility would help advance Pfizer’s work in manufacturing highly specialized, potentially onetime gene therapies that use custom-made recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors. (Link to video)

“At Pfizer, our purpose is breakthroughs that change patients’ lives,” said Angela Hwang, group president of Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group. “We’re excited to build this new state-of-the-art facility in Sanford because it will have the potential to help us develop novel methods to deliver transformative treatments to patients.”

“This investment will further strengthen Pfizer’s leadership in gene therapy manufacturing technology,” said Mike McDermott, president of Pfizer Global Supply. “The expansion of the Sanford site is expected to create hundreds of highly skilled jobs, which would increase Sanford’s high-tech manufacturing environment and is part of our overall plan to invest approximately $5 billion in U.S.-based capital projects over the next several years.”

“North Carolina is a leader in life sciences in part because of our longstanding partnership with Pfizer,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. “Today we mark another boost to our state, and we are proud of the people conducting life-saving research in Sanford.”

Pfizer is expanding its end-to-end capabilities in gene therapy in North Carolina by investing in facilities focused on all stages of research, development, and manufacturing. The company celebrated completion of the first phase of the project at a ceremony today in Sanford.

Related news: “Cellectis Joins Growing List of NC Gene Therapy Manufacturers”