Pfizer bolsters blockbuster investment spree with $750M outlay at one of its biggest manufacturing plants

Despite a flurry of investments overseas, Pfizer isn’t letting its U.S. manufacturing operations fall behind. The company is throwing down $750 million to upgrade its facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where it cranked out some of the earliest COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.

Once again, the focus will be on injectable medicines, with Pfizer angling to position its on-site modular aseptic processing (MAP) facility as “one of the most technologically advanced sterile injectable facilities in the world,” according to a press release. The company’s latest investment follows a $465 million outlay for the MAP facility in 2018.

The project is expected to create around 300 new jobs. Specifically, in this second phase of Pfizer’s MAP project, the company will fold in advanced aseptic manufacturing equipment, systems and design, which will include self-contained modular manufacturing lines. The company is eyeing production of products at MAP 2 that rely on mRNA and “ultra-low temperature storage.”

Aside from coronavirus vaccines, Pfizer also uses its Kalamazoo plant to make its oral COVID antiviral Paxlovid. As part of a production push for the med, Pfizer this summer said it would create hundreds of “highly skilled” jobs at the site, which is among the company’s largest for production. In June, the company formally unveiled a $120 million investment at the Kalamazoo campus alongside plans to create 250 new jobs, with the aim to bolster production of Paxlovid, also known as nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets.

Pfizer previously expanded the site back in 2017 with a $150 million investment. At the time, the site leader said the company had invested around $1 billion in the Kalamazoo plant in the past decade and forecast $800 million more over the coming 10 years.

At Kalamazoo, Pfizer says it also makes liquid and semi-solid medicines plus active pharmaceutical ingredients. The 400,000-square-foot MAP facility, for its part, employs 3,000 staffers and contractors, the company said in its release.

Since 2017, Pfizer has rolled $5 billion into its U.S. manufacturing network, CEO Albert Bourla, Ph.D., said in the press release.

More recently, Pfizer busied itself pumping billions of dollars into its European production network, too. In late November, the company telegraphed back-to-back 1.2 billion euro expansions in Ireland and Belgium. All told, the upgrades across both sites are expected to create up to 500 new jobs and significantly build out the company’s capacity for biologic drug substance production, cold storage, packaging and more.