Pfizer's CDMO unit drives growth at hospital business

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/RomoloTavani)
(Image: Getty/RomoloTavani)

Related tags: Pfizer CentreOne, Pfizer, Mylan

Pfizer attributes performance of contract manufacturing unit as driver of growth at hospital business.

In the fourth quarter, Pfizer’s contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), Pfizer CentreOne, recorded global revenues of $254m (€231m).

This represented an almost 20% increase over the comparable period of 2018, leading Pfizer to highlight the CDMO as a key driver of the 8% growth achieved by its broader hospital business in the quarter.

The fourth quarter growth at Pfizer CentreOne was underpinned by rising demand in the US, where sales jumped 25% to $141m. Pfizer CentreOne also recorded double-digit growth in the rest of the world.

That growth figure for the CDMO outside the US masks considerable region-to-region variation. The CDMO’s sales in developed Europe slipped slightly in the quarter but that headwind was more than offset by emerging markets, where its revenues grew 28% operationally.

The resulting double-digit increase in global fourth quarter sales capped off a year of growth for the CDMO. Sales for the full year totaled $810m, an increase of close to 10% over 2018.

Almost all parts of the world contributed to the growth with sales increases in the high single digits and above in most regions. The exception was emerging markets, where, despite the fourth quarter growth, sales ended up 5% on an operational basis and 1% on a reported basis.

The overall performance in 2019 continued the recovery of Pfizer CentreOne. In 2017, revenues at the CDMO fell slightly to $706m. Since then, Pfizer CentreOne has recorded two years of growth, with sales rising to $755m in 2018 and again to $810m in the most recent set of financials.

Contract services are a small part of Pfizer’s overall operation, which generated sales of $51.8bn last year. Yet, the CDMO is still a sizeable operation by other benchmarks, boasting facilities across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Pfizer CentreOne uses those facilities to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates, synthesize custom APIs, produce oral solid dosage forms and perform fill/finish work on sterile injectables. 

The CDMO will stay part of Pfizer after it merges its off-patent manufacturing business Upjohn with Mylan to create Viatris.

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