Pfizer To Invest $1.26 Billion In Irish Plant, Forms New Vant Company Targeting Inflammation

by Joy Lin
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Pfizer has revealed plans to invest more than €1.2 billion euros, or $1.26 billion, to expand its manufacturing plant in Dublin, Ireland.

In a separate development, the drugmaker is forming a new Vant company with Switzerland-based Roivant Sciences to develop and commercialize RVT-3101, previously known as PF-06480605, a monoclonal antibody that targets the cytokine TL1A. RVT-3101 is currently in Phase 2 development in ulcerative colitis (UC). 

Related Article: FDA Revokes Authorization Of Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 Antibody

Irish Plant To Grow 500 Jobs 

Pfizer is looking to double its capacity for biological drug substance manufacturing with a facility expansion at its existing production site at Grange Castle. 

Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and end by 2029. 400 to 500 new jobs will be created, the company said. Pfizer currently has 5,000 staff members in Ireland, including 2,000 on its Grange Castle site.

This is not the first time Pfizer’s actions have benefited the Irish economy. In 2020, the drugmaker invested €300 million to further development of its manufacturing sites in Grange Castle, Newbridge, and Ringaskiddy, upping manufacturing and laboratory capacity while creating approximately 300 roles. 

The following year, Pfizer announced an additional $40 million investment to produce mRNA ingredients for its COVID-19 vaccine at Grange Castle.

New Vant To Focus On Inflammation

In its second announcement of the day, Pfizer has formed a new Vant company with Roivant to focus on inflammation and other fibrotic diseases. Under the terms of the collaboration, the Vant will advance RVT-3101 through the clinic and commercialize the drug in US and Japan. Pfizer will hold a 25% stake in the Vant and maintain commercial rights outside of the US and Japan; the company will also be represented on the Vant’s Board of Directors. 

The company starts off with RVT-3101, an inhibitor of the TL1A cytokine that has been shown to modulate the location and severity of inflammation and fibrosis by stimulating TH1 and TH17 pathways as well as activating fibroblasts. 

RVT-3101 had been assessed in an earlier Phase 2 called Tuscany which enrolled 50 people. The current Phase 2, Tuscany-2, is evaluating 245 adult patients with moderate to severe UC. The induction portion of Tuscany-2 is complete while the maintenance portion is ongoing, Roivant said. 

Additionally, the Vant will get an option to collaborate with Pfizer on another TL1A antibody which recently entered Phase 1. If the Vant opts in, it will share equally the costs of development as well as commercialization rights with Pfizer prior to Phase 2, which is expected in 2025. 

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