Issue Date: July 6, 2009
Pfizer And Kalamazoo
Pfizer did not "close down the old Upjohn site" in Kalamazoo, Mich. (C&EN, Feb. 23, page 26). Although it's true that Pfizer did significantly reduce, and eventually disband, its local human-health R&D group between 2003 and 2008, Kalamazoo County continues to host one of Pfizer's largest science-based operations in the world. The global headquarters for veterinary medicine R&D, the research and development arm of Pfizer Animal Health, is based in downtown Kalamazoo and on a 2,100-acre farm in nearby Richland Township.
Also, the adjoining cities of Kalamazoo and Portage are the home of Pfizer's largest manufacturing site anywhere, producing active ingredients and intermediates, sterile injectables, liquids, ointments, creams, surgical sponges, and alcohol-based medicines. Many hundreds of scientists and highly skilled technicians are among the 3,200 people Pfizer employs in Kalamazoo County today.
Pfizer played a major role in building Kalamazoo's biotech momentum. In 2003, Pfizer provided facilities, equipment, and contracts to three new start-ups formed by ex-Pfizer scientists, at a value of $30 million. It also donated millions of dollars' worth of scientific equipment to the effort through a local university and a statewide initiative called the Michigan Innovation Equipment Depot, which Pfizer helped create.
Rather than "close down" in Kalamazoo, Pfizer is an active player in the local biotech sector. For the community and for the patients who benefit worldwide, we're proud to have an important role in stoking this life sciences hot spot.
Director, Worldwide Communications, Pfizer
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