Bio-pharma companies Pfizer, Sobi invest €100m in new plant near Zagreb

NEWS 10.06.2022 13:22
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Source: Igor Kralj/PIXSELL

The Pfizer and Sobi bio-pharmaceutical companies inaugurated the construction of a new high-tech production plant in Savski Marof on Friday in which they are investing €100 million and from which they will export innovative biological drugs to 50 world countries as of 2026.

The plant is located where Pfizer’s Haspira company has already had a plant since 2015. The new plant should be built by 2024. It will spread over 4,000 square metres on 11 hectares of land.

The existing plant makes biological substances for drugs, final drug products for cancer and rare diseases, and components for COVID vaccines. The new plant will produce drugs for rare conditions.

The director of the existing plant, Domagoj Runjac, said they started with 30 employees less than ten years ago and now there are 500, and that another 100 would be hired in the new plant. “This is the only such factory in Croatia, and in the broader area, and the first which Pfizer is building together with Sobi.”

Pfizer vice president Steven Stears said high-tech standards of doing business and production would be implemented.

Pfizer is here to change patients’ lives for the better, but also to create jobs, he said, adding that it is fantastic to see what is being done in Savski Marof and that the first drugs will be launched in 2026.

Sobi senior vice president Christine Wesstrom said this Swedish company needed a strong partner for the high-quality and sustainable production of complex drugs and has found one in Pfizer.

The high-tech and research teams and managements in both companies, as well as in Croatia, guarantee this cooperation’s success, she added.

Economy Ministry state secretary Natasa Mikus-Zigman said the new plant and Pfizer-Sobi’s investment was important for the local economy and the promotion of Croatia as a country in which high-tech industries were being developed.

Croatia has great human resources and potential for developing biotechnological production, and this investment will help increase production capacities and diversify the Croatian economy, she said.

The investment will also increase competitiveness and the production of drugs for export will reduce supply chain risks, she added.

The US Pfizer is one of the world’s leading bio-pharmaceutical companies discovering, developing and supplying more than 170 drugs and vaccines. Its first Croatian branch was opened in 1996. The company focuses on oncology, internal medicine, vaccines, immunology, and rare diseases.

Together with BioNTech, Pfizer developed a COVID vaccine, delivering more than 2.9 billion doses in 170 countries this year. Another four billion doses are expected to be manufactured this year, with two billion to be provided to low and middle income countries.

Sobi is present in over 70 countries and is dedicated to developing and implementing innovative treatments in hematology and immunology as well as specialist care for patients with rare diseases, who number 300 million.

There is no treatment for 95% of the 6,000 rare diseases recorded, and Sobi sees this as an opportunity, it was said today.

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