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Ex-Pfizer employees set up new business at Sandwich

Published on 01/09/11 at 11:20am
Pfizer Sandwich Kent

Seven former Pfizer employees have set up a new business in Sandwich that will provide outsourcing services for the pharma industry.

Pfizer announced in February that it would be closing its R&D centre at Sandwich, Kent, by 2012 due to a scaling back of its global research budget. 

The site has since been classified an ‘enterprise zone’ by the UK government to help encourage more businesses to replace Pfizer, and the recently established Research Network will be the first to occupy the new office spaces available.

The business is run by Andrew McElroy, who was recently made redundant from his former role as site lead for external research at Pfizer’s Sandwich site.

“There’s a lot of change happening at the Pfizer site and as other Pfizer groups disband we’re growing; we’re a small island there of activity that’s expanding,” McElroy told Kent BBC radio.

“We’re one of probably about a dozen different spin-out groups, we just happen to be the first to occupy some offices there.”

The business will provide outsourcing services via scientific and logistical expertise to pharma, biotech and other companies involved in drug discovery.

McElroy told the BBC the model was a bit like a ‘dating agency’ for scientists. “We'll find the right person to work with, the right company to work with and then we'll help with the logistics,” he said.

McElroy said that the process has been made easier by the government and his former employer.

“We’ve had a lot of help and support as well from government agencies and Pfizer in terms of learning how to set up a new company,” he said.

Ben Adams

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