Workers at Pfizer's Terre Haute, Indiana, plant where the ill-fated Exubera was made are, shall we say, less than exuberant today. The company has decided to cut 660 jobs there; after all, it's not making the inhaled insulin product anymore, so those staffers aren't needed. In fact, they've been on paid leave since Exubera production stopped in October.
Pfizer will start letting workers go in March and all 660 will get the adios by mid-year. Some 140 other workers will be kept on, because they work on other products at the plant. Unfortunately, however, those products are antibiotics--and declining demand for them may spell doom for the plant in the long term.
State and local officials are reeling from the announcement. Pfizer spent $300 million upgrading the plant over the last five years, so they'd been crossing their fingers that the company would move a new product line there. But that multimillion-dollar technology is specific to Exubera, so it's not easily adapted to manufacturing other meds.
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