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Pfizer to invest more than 6 million euros in their Catalan plant, “a worldwide reference” in vaccines for animals

The factory will increase its output of biological and pharmaceutical products by 40% over 3 years, taking work from closing factories in Europe and the United States. The Catalan plant is specialised in animal health and vaccines for livestock. It was bought in 2009 by the North American pharmaceutical giant, in a small town near Girona.


07 June 2011 12:14 AM


ACN / Lourdes Casademont / Marc Navarro

Barcelona (ACN).- Back in 2009, the American multinational company Pfizer bought an industrial plant in la Vall de Bianya, a small town near Girona. In 2011, Pfizer will invest more than six million euros in the plant to step up the output of biological products. The factory includes an excellent R&D centre specialised in animal health and in the production of vaccines. One of their successes is the vaccine against the bluetongue disease. The director of the factory, Jordi Jornet, says that this \u201Cgreatly consolidates\u201D the plant, which over the next three years plans to increase its output of both pharmaceutical and biological products by 40%. During this period, the plant will take on work from those factories in Europe and the United States that are closing down.

According to Pfizer executives, the plant that the multinational American company owns in Catalonia is a centre of \u201Cworldwide reference\u201D in research and development of vaccines for animals. Their two main fields of work are the elaboration of pharmacological products for animal health and biological products.

The plant is not only a R&D centre of animal health, but it is also specialised in emergent illnesses. Amongst their successes, the Zulvac vaccine to fight against the bluetongue disease stands out. The vaccine has reduced the number of bluetongue cases from 45,000 to 120 in just two years.

Since its creation, in 1955 \u2013under the name of Laboratorios Sobrino\u2013 the plant has had several owners. Once Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that developed Viagra, formalised the deal in 2010, the centre has acquired fifteen international patents and its technicians have participated in more than 80 research papers.

More investment and production

\u201CThis centre has a lot of potential. It is technologically very advanced and that is why Pfizer decided to buy it\u201D says the director of the plant, Jordi Arnet. Pfizer has planned to invest 6 million euros in order to increase the output of pharmaceutical products. The multinational has decided to \u201Ctransfer\u201D the manufacturing of several products that were made in other European centres threatened with closure to the Vall de Bianya plant. Fort Dodge has sold some of its facilities in the United States and will also move to the Catalan plant.

Within the fields of biological and pharmaceutical products, Pfizer expects to increase its output by 40% over the next three years. About 40 or 50% of its total output will go to the North American market. Currently, the plant employs around 200 workers. Pfizer has not yet offered exact data about new hiring plans because they aim to work with other research centres.

Only 13,700 square metres of the 75,800 square-metre plant are built-up. The laboratories, where vaccines are made, work independently in different sections of the plant. The factory also has several pig and horse farms where the effects of the treatments can be checked.

As for revenue, the Vall de Bianya plant generated 75 million euros throughout 2010 with the sale of almost a hundred different products all over the globe. The European market is their main target and where they are planning to concentrate. Launching a new product can take about seven or eight years, with an estimated maximum cost of twelve million euros. The annual production in 2010 was around 1,5 million litres, with vaccines being their main product.


  • A caption from Pfizer's plant in Catalonia (by L. Casademont)

  • A caption from Pfizer's plant in Catalonia (by L. Casademont)