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LA JOLLA, CA-Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, has purchased its local campus for $372 million, according to a company report released yesterday. Acquired from Slough Estates PLC of the United Kingdom, the 33-acre site comprises approximately one million sf of laboratory and office space, which is used mostly for pharmaceutical discovery and development and gave rise to such high profile drugs as Lipitor and Viagra. Senior vice president of Pfizer Global Research and Development and La Jolla site head Catherine J. Mackey, Ph.D., praised California, and specifically La Jolla, as an “important strategic location for life sciences research.” In the past three years, Pfizer has invested more than $150 million in the campus, which it had been leasing from Slough Estates.”San Diego is one of the top biotech markets in the country and this campus is in the heart of the area’s biotech corner, says Gary Katz, director of acquisitions at San Diego-based Westcore Properties, a private, commercial real estate investment firm.”Now [Pfizer] can control its own destiny,” Katz tells Globest.com. “It makes sense with the costs of improvements they’ve already put in place versus any replacement costs for another property.”One of the keys to improving the campus was in putting dollars toward energy efficiency. A key example includes a central power plant that serves the four newest buildings, which saves an estimated $2.3 million in energy costs a year, enough to power more than 10,000 homes. These buildings received a LEED certification from the US Green Building Council for incorporating design elements and building materials that conserve energy and natural resources. Currently, the campus’s laboratories house some of the world’s leading technologies in areas such as robotics, high-throughput screening, discovery technologies, rational drug design, combinatorial chemistry, medicinal chemistry, informatics and discovery computation. Researchers at La Jolla are developing new medicines in a number of areas of unmet medical need including cancer, HIV, hepatitis, blindness and diabetes/obesity. “Taking all these factors into consideration, we believe that purchasing the La Jolla campus represents a sound long-term investment for Pfizer,” says Mackey. Pfizer La Jolla, with more than 1,500 scientists and support staff, is part of a global network of research and development sites that includes Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, MI; Groton and New London, CT; St. Louis; Cambridge, MA; Sandwich, United Kingdom; and Nagoya, Japan. According to company reports, in 2004, Pfizer will invest $7.5 billion in R&D.

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