With the EUR 1.2 billion project in Flanders, Pfizer is investing on 3 main fronts. The company will (1) enhance its production capacity, (2) increase its cold storage capabilities for medication and (3) expand its packaging processes. Part of the investment will go to the construction of a new Isolator Facility Center featuring two production modules for additional filling capacity.
Pfizer is also building a Flexible Freezer Warehouse consisting of two freezer modules with independent temperature regulation for cold storage of mRNA products. These kinds of pharmaceutical products carry genetic information into cells, allowing them to create therapeutic proteins on their own.
In addition, the Pfizer Puurs site is expanding its Center for Secondary Packaging, which already experienced a large-scale expansion not so long ago. To continue boosting capacity, Pfizer will add an extra 16 packaging booths to the center.
Our site in Puurs has been playing an incredibly important role in the Pfizer Global Supply network for many years. I am pleased that this investment in Flanders will allow us to further support vaccine and drug production and strengthen our pipeline. At the same time, this is a recognition of the site's importance in the production of breakthrough medicines that change patients' lives.
I am extremely proud of what our site has accomplished. Following the COVID pandemic, the Puurs facility made the impossible possible. This new major investment provides a large-scale platform for the further development of new medicines and vaccines.
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, Pfizer’s Puurs site has grown into a hub for the production and export of COVID vaccines, which Pfizer developed in tandem with Germany’s BioNTech. The American pharma leader selected its Flanders-based site for the task because of its longstanding expertise in filling injectable drugs into ampoules or vials, making it the largest vaccine plant in the world.
The plant is Pfizer’s largest in Europe and employs 4,500 people. In addition to producing 100 million COVID vaccines per month, the production site specializes in the aseptic production and packaging of injectable drugs and vaccines. Each year, the site produces over 400 million doses of injectable vaccines and drugs – including painkillers, eye drops and pneumococcal vaccines – and exports them to more than 170 countries. The production facility is also a pilot site for launching new medicines.
It's no coincidence that Pfizer has chosen Puurs for the expansion of its largest European manufacturing and packaging facility. Flanders has so much to offer to the life sciences industry – and the government of Flanders continues to take action to transform Flanders into Europe's main biotech valley.
This is not the first time that Pfizer has chosen Flanders as the location for major investments. In fact, in the past few years, the American company has been acknowledged several times by the government of Flanders for its dedication to the region. In 2016, Pfizer earned a nomination for the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy presented by Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT). Two years later, it won the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Trophy. Watch the video below to get the full scoop.