Pfizer ups EU CAPEX spend to $2.5bn with Belgium expansion

A day after announcing plans to expand a biomanufacturing site in Ireland, Pfizer has committed a second €1.2 ($1.25) billion for its Puurs, Belgium facilities.

The site in Puurs, Belgium became central in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine network, and underwent an expansion during the pandemic to install additional manufacturing and filling lines.

Now the Big Pharma firm has committed a further €1.2 billion to the site, located 20km north of Brussels, over the next three years to expand production capacity, cold storage capabilities, and packaging options.

Pfizer’s site in Puurs, Belgium. Image: Google/Jan Marien

“Pfizer Puurs played a crucial role in the production of our COVID-19 vaccine, directly supporting our efforts to fight COVID-19 worldwide,” Mike McDermott, chief global supply officer at Pfizer said in a translated Flemish press release.

“I am very pleased that with this investment we can further support the production of vaccines and medicines and strengthen our pipeline. At the same time, we recognize the importance of the site in the production of breakthrough medicines that change the lives of patients.”

The site, which specializes in aseptic production and packaging of injectable drugs and vaccines, is one of Pfizer’s oldest in Europe, having been established in 1963 by future Pfizer acquisition Upjohn. Around 4,500 employees work at Puurs, and a further 250 jobs will be added through this investment.

The announcement came a day after Pfizer gave the green light to an equal €1.2 billion investment at its Grange Castle biomanufacturing site in Dublin, Ireland.

According to Reuters, the double investment aims to support Pfizer’s growing pipeline of drugs, with the firm hoping to introduce as many as 19 new products over the next year and a half. Pfizer’s complete pipeline can be found here.