USA – Pfizer has announced plans to invest US$120m in its manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, US, to produce its Covid-19 oral drug, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets).
The money will expand the production of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and registered starting materials (RSMs) used in the manufacture the main protease inhibitor, nirmatrelvir.
The oral treatment, approved for emergency use for those 12 and older with mild to moderate COVID-19, has shown to reduce hospitalization and death by almost 90% if taken within five days of the onset of symptoms, according to Pfizer.
This expansion will create more than 250 new manufacturing jobs at the Kalamazoo facility.
Pfizer stated that the expansion of API and RSMs production for nirmatrelvir will allow it to increase the Paxlovid supply capacity to meet the worldwide demand.
Pfizer Global Supply has made the impossible possible, making billions of vaccine doses and now millions of treatment courses to help battle the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
The company has shipped 12 million Paxlovid courses across 37 countries, including five million shipped to the US, till date.
Pfizer chief global supply officer Mike McDermott said: “The Kalamazoo facility uses some of our most innovative manufacturing technology and has been essential in Pfizer’s fight against Covid-19, producing nearly one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine at the site to date.
“Through this expansion, we will continue to invest in the next generation of manufacturing and supply chain resilience.”
The Kalamazoo factory will be able to produce 1,200 metric tons of the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Paxlovid annually, which will increase supply of the drug by 4 million packs.
In Kalamazoo, the company is also planning to expand its Modular Aseptic Processing (MAP) sterile injectable pharmaceutical production site.
The latest expansion follows a US$450m investment in phase one to build a 400,000 square feet production plant.
In January this year, Pfizer received Health Canada authorization for its cocktail of two antiviral drugs, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, to treat adult patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19.
Paxlovid, the combination therapy, is intended for the treatment of individuals who are at increased risk of disease progression, including hospital admission or death.
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