Pfizer to Close Australian Neulasta Biosimilar Plant by 2021
Pfizer has announced that it will close its Adelaide, Australia manufacturing plant, which produces the active ingredient in Pfizer’s biosimilar candidate to Amgen’s anti-cancer drug, Neulasta (pelfilgrastim), by 2021. Neulasta, a leukocyte factor indicated for decreasing incidence of infection due to low white blood cell count in patients with certain types of non-myeloid cancers, is one of Amgen’s top-selling drugs with $3.9 billion in 2016 sales.
The closure is part of Pfizer’s strategy to consolidate its manufacturing activities into fewer locations over the next several years, according to the company’s annual report. The Adelaide site closure includes 89 employees, who may be deployed elsewhere, according to Pfizer. The manufacture of the biosimilar active ingredient will be moved to a plant in Zagreb, Croatia, Pfizer said.
Pfizer gained the Adelaide site as part of its $17-billion acquisition of Hospira in 2015. Under Hospira, the Adelaide facility was primarily used to manufacture biologic drug substance and for research and development activities, according to Hospira’s 2014 annual report.
As part of the integration of Hospira into the business, Pfizer conducted an evaluation of the combined manufacturing network to ensure that overall capacity is effectively used relative to projected product demands. As a result of the evaluation, Pfizer decided to exit the legacy Hospira plant in Adelaide. Pfizer presently operates 63 manufacturing plants globally with a workforce of approximately 34,000 employees in manufacturing, according to the company.