Pfizer to invest 520 million euros in France to fight COVID-19

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Albert Bourla, a CEO of Pfizer, declared that it would facilitate the productivity of its antiviral Covid-19 pill in France by investing 520 million euros ($594 million) for the next five years.

Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation.

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The investment decision is part of Pfizer’s strategy to boost global production of the pill, called Paxlovid, to prevent hospitalization and death in patients due to the high risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Pfizer said they would collaborate with French pharmaceutical group Novasep to increase the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients(API) for Paxlovid.

Novasep, the plant run by a French pharmaceutical group, will produce API in their manufacturing network, expected to manufacture 120 million courses of treatment in 2022.

The U.S drug regulator approved the manufacturing in December and will scatter it in the European Union.

Production will expand in the third quarter of this year; a spokesman said Pfizer expects to add its manufacturing in southwest France.

While confirming the production schedule, Novasep technology transfer, on-site development and equipment installation activities would begin immediately at the Mourenx plant. The company is planning to recruit more than 40 additional employees there.

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Pfizer, which said it was too early to provide estimates for production from Novasep, said other sites worldwide were also being used to manufacture Paxlovid, including in Ireland and Italy.

According to Pfizer, a portion of the 520 million euros will also go to research in France, including partnerships with biotech firms, which declined to break down its investments in research and manufacturing in France.

Albert Boula, separately, told a French newspaper, Le Figaro, on Monday (17 January) that he believes in a “return to normal life”. France’s parliament framed a new rule that unvaccinated people would be banned from disclosed public places to shield the protection of citizens of France.

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