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BEND, OR-Bend Research Inc. is planning a $13 million drug manufacturing facility in northeast Bend as part of its ongoing relationship with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The privately held scientific research and development firm is creating the pharmaceutical research facility from a 12,000-sf warehouse on 2.5 acres on Builders Street. The company purchased the property for $700,000, but will spend another $7 million to expand and renovate the building and $6 million more on equipment and start-up costs, says operations manager Bruce Johnson.

“It sounds like a lot of money, but building out a clean-room type space that pharmaceutical manufacturing requires is expensive,” Johnson tells GlobeSt. “This facility is representative of our close relationship with Pfizer.”

The facility is being built to meet US Food and Drug Administration Good Manufacturing Practices requirements. It will be used exclusively for manufacturing drugs for Pfizer clinical trials, says Johnson. A separate corporation is being created to own and operate the facility, he confirmed.

Employing 92 people, Bend Research is one of Central Oregon’s largest high-tech firms. The company works on several technologies, including synthetic membranes used to clean water and separate gases. It’s main offices, which were recently expanded, are in nearby Tumalo. The new facility will be housed in an existing warehouse at 20503 Builders St., in an area zoned for light industrial. The company also operates a manufacturing facility in a building just south of Bend High School.

Pfizer Inc. is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare companies. Formed in June following the merger of Pfizer and Warner-Lambert, the New York-based conglomerate produces many of the world’s best-known brands including Halls, Tetra, Benadryl, Sudafed, Listerine, Desitin, Schick, Visine, Ben Gay, Lubriderm, Zantac 75 and Cortizone.

Construction on the new facility is expected to begin in January and be completed by November 2001. The company expects to hire between six and 12 additional employees for the new facility next year.

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