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Pfizer opens €300 million state-of-the-art drug manufacturing site in Freiburg, Germany

On May 24th 2022, an opening ceremony was held for the opening of Pfizer’s newest production facility in Freiburg, Germany, which has been built with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).

The new high containment (HighCon), state-of-the-art drug manufacturing site has now been completed following a €300 million investment to help offer greater support to our European partners across a range of formulation manufacturing services.

This investment into the existing Freiburg site has now transformed it into a center for the efficient, reliable production and packaging of innovative medicines for the global market.

Doubling drug production capacity

At 13,500m2 - approximately the area of two football fields - the new Freiburg facility is capable of producing up to 7 billion additional solid dosage forms.

Overall, the new site has now increased its total capacity to up to 12 billion tablets and capsules per year – corresponding to an increase of 140%.

This means that, theoretically, every person in the world could receive 1.5 tablets or capsules per year from the Freiburg facility, making the plant one of the most efficient production facilities in the global Pfizer network.

State-of-the-art equipment

Equipped with the latest Industry 4.0 standards, the Freiburg site has become one of the most modern production facilities for the pharmaceutical industry over the last three years.

The new high-containment drug production site demonstrates Pfizer's clear commitment to the competitiveness of the Freiburg site as well as paving a promising future for the development of innovative medicines made in Germany.

Dr. Axel Glatz, plant manager in Freiburg, says the plant represents “A resource-efficient production facility that combines high technology with state-of-the-art energy management.

"All machines and processes are intelligently networked with the help of information and communication technologies, which enables the Freiburg-based Pfizer plant to produce more flexibly, faster and more resource-efficiently."

Shortened production times

The Freiburg facility now enables Pfizer to shorten the development and production times of highly potent drugs. In turn, patients in 150 countries worldwide can now receive supplies of vital drugs even faster for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and other illnesses.

This is likely to play an important role in the future: "Pfizer intends to apply the so-called "Lightspeed" process, which had reduced the systematic steps for the production of the COVID-19 drug to six months – instead of the usual two to three years – in future new launches," says plant manager Dr. Glatz.

A greener future for drug production

The Freiburg plant is now capable of drawing up to 90% of its energy from sustainable sources such as wood pellets, geothermal and solar thermal energy, signalling a greener future for drug production.

During its construction, the integration of an innovative CO2-saving ventilation system continued to consistently ensure a sustainable ecological footprint – even as the overall energy consumption increases when the new plant is fully utilized.

Explore the new drug manufacturing site at Freiburg and learn more about its capabilities here