Pharma giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) plans to spend more than $2.5 billion in facilities in Belgium and Ireland as it looks to diversify its product portfolio, according to Reuters.
In 2021, Pfizer generated $36.9 billion in sales from the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine. The company projects its COVID-19 vaccine to rake in $34 billion in 2022, but COVID-related sales will likely steadily fall in the coming years.
For now, the company is flush with cash. Expecting to top $100 billion in revenue in 2022, the company generated $81.2 billion last year. The company has used the funds to acquire a string of companies, including Reviral, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Biohaven Pharmaceuticals and Global Blood Therapeutics.
Pfizer will invest €1.2 billion ($1.26 billion) to upgrade and invest in a plant in Puurs, Belgium. It will spend the same sum on upgrading a plant in Dublin.
The Puurs site and a facility in Kalamazoo are pivotal sites for producing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer anticipates beginning construction at the Dublin site in 2024 and finalizing the project in 2027.
Pfizer faces patent cliffs in the coming years for several drugs, including
Eliquis (which it jointly developed with Bristol Myers Squibb), Ibrance and Xeljanz.
In its Q3 earnings, the company acknowledged that it expected a loss of roughly $17 billion between 2025 to 2030.
“We believe we not only can overcome these expected declines but also can potentially generate strong growth through the end of the decade,” said the company’s CEO, Dr. Albert Bourla.
The company aims to launch up to 19 new drugs in the next 18 months—promising pipeline drugs, including its investigational RSV vaccine and Prevnar 20 pneumococcal vaccine. The company believes that two-thirds of the 19 drug candidates have the potential to be blockbusters.
Pfizer anticipates hiring between 400 to 500 new workers to help staff its expanded plant in Ireland, which specializes in creating material for biologics and vaccines.
The investment in the Puurs facility will increase its capacity for packaging, cold storage and drug substance manufacturing. In addition, Pfizer aims to recruit 250 new workers for the site, which now employs about 4,500 workers.
Pfizer also aims to make similar investments in plants in Kalamazoo, Michigan; Rocky Mount, North Carolina and McPherson, Kansas.