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Pfizer increases Genotropin manufacturing capacity in Sweden

By Susan Gotensparre , 02-Jan-2007

Pfizer has entered a capacity expansion phase, to meet requirements of global manufacturing of Genotropin (somatropin), a top-selling human growth hormone.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has invested SEK 1.5 billion in Strängnäs, Sweden that will be home to a new state-of-the-art turnkey factory adjoined to an existing plant. The expansion will boost Pfizer's production capacity of Genotropin used in the treatment of dwarfism and growth failure.

Genotropin is the top-selling human growth hormone, according to market researchers Visiongain but has come under pressure in recent quarters. Pfizer reported a worldwide 3 per cent decrease in Genotropin sales to $586 million for the first nine months of 2006, with more competitors such as Sandoz's Omnitrope (somatropin) entering the market.

Pfizer acquired Pharmacia back in 2003 and simultaneously obtained their Genotropin production at Strängnäs. The already established Genotropin production "know-how" in Sweden was an important factor, when deciding where to build a new plant, Gisela Lindstrand, Pfizer government affairs director told InPharmaTechnologist.com. Strängnäs biotechnology industry is made up of three companies, Pfizer, DSM and Recip, that together employ around 450-500 people.

Pfizer commissioned the third largest global building contractor Skanska to build a 5,000 square meter factory, a commission that amounted to SEK 600 million and an anticipated 30 months for construction and process equipment installation.

"It's a big contract, in the size of the one we received when we built the Pfizer headquarter in Sweden, SEK 500 million (£)," Peter Gimbe, spokesperson for Skanska, told InPharmaTechnologist.com.

"We were very determined to get the contract with Pfizer, as they are a good customer - knowledgeable and demanding. We would like to continue our collaboration, as we are both global companies."

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