Published: 09:23, 20 June 2019
| Updated: 09:24, 20 June 2019
A drugs giant has revealed a £5million investment in its Kent site.
Although the company announced in 2011 it was dramatically down-grading its presence at a site it used to fully occupy, it has continued to retain a base there with several hundred employees.
And since last year it has invested more than £36m into manufacturing and investment at the site.
In addition, Kent County Council is today confirming a £5m investment in the Discovery Park to encourage SME life sciences to locate and grow there.
The news coincides with the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) annual conference, this year hosted by Pfizer at Discovery Park, which will celebrate the UK as a world-leader
in medicines manufacturing.
Julian Thompson, vice president, global regulatory operations and Sandwich site head said: “Since 1954, our site at Sandwich has played a crucial role in the development of new, life-saving medicines.
"This investment demonstrates Pfizer’s continuing focus on innovation in advanced manufacturing and highlights our patient first approach; ensuring that cutting-edge technology can be used to design and
manufacture medicines for clinical trials that are palatable for children with the most serious illnesses.
"Today’s announcement builds on a series of investments we have made to this site over the last few years and further reinforces our commitment to progressing science here in the UK.”
KCC's £5m has been unlocked through the East Kent Growth Fund.
Leader Paul Carter said: “We are delighted to be investing £5m in a new venture capital fund aimed at supporting SME life sciences businesses at Discovery Park.
"This builds on efforts made by KCC and partners in the Sandwich task force, which helped to secure the site over the last seven years and has grown business investment.
"There are now 3,500 people employed on the site, 1,100 more jobs on the site than when the task force was set up.
"Our investment, coupled with Pfizer’s ongoing contribution to the site and surrounding life sciences community, will boost Kent’s position as a centre for scientific excellence in the UK.
"We are pleased to be working together with Pfizer, Kent’s universities and other key partners in the Kent economy to develop this initiative.”
Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park added: “Discovery Park is a thriving part of the south east’s life science community, working with its tenants and partners to build a world-leading science park with a focus on manufacturing and digital transformation. We are delighted that Pfizer is continuing to invest in world-class science and technology at the site helping to drive innovation.
"The news that Kent County Council is investing in a VC fund to support life sciences businesses at Discovery Park is another exciting development."