Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Fires impact Pharm Bio Industry...

Pfizer not alone in feeling the heat of California fires

As the fires in California continue to rage, Pfizer and other pharma and biotech companies all over Southern California are bracing themselves for closures and even evacuations of their facilities.

This never dawned on me...but it represents a very real threat...

As if Pfizer isn't feeling the heat enough this week thanks to its disappointing financial results and its decision to drop Exubera (inhalable insulin), the world's biggest pharma company has today closed its La Jolla research and development (R&D) site in San Diego.

The decision will be re-evaluated daily but the head of the La Jolla campus, Kitty Mackey, said that it was important the 1,000 employees there "take the time to care for their families and loved ones," as many of them live in areas impacted by the fire emergency.

Pfizer is hardly alone in their problems though - within a 10-mile radius of the La Jolla campus are many major educational and research facilities such as the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), The Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and some 200 biotech firms.

Acros the whole of San Diego County, there are more than 500 life science companies employing more than 36,000 people, according to industry association Biocom. The companies range from small biotechs to some of the 'biggest names' in drug development, such as Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), Amgen, Biogen Idec, Genentech and, of course, Pfizer. Between them, they generate over $23m (€16.2m) for the economy every day and so the financial impact of closures should not be underestimated.

link to full article

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