Pfizer Pulls Out of Mission Bay Deal

Plan to build biotech research center falls through

Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, is scratching a plan to staff a biotechnology research center in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.

When the deal was first announced, Mayor Gavin Newsom called it a "significant win" for the city.  Newsom released a statement saying he is still confident the center will remain a draw for the science industry.

The New York-based drugmaker had negotiated a 15-year lease with Alexandria Real Estate Equities to move into a 210,000 square-foot building on the corner of Third Street and Mission Bay Boulevard. The move would have brought 100 employees to the new center and was thought to be a draw for other biotech companies considering a move into San Francisco.

Other San Francisco officials share in Newsom's hesitant optimism. "Obviously, we would prefer Pfizer live up to its obligations but we are still feeling good about the future of Mission Bay," said Amy Neches with San Francisco's Redevelopment Agency.

In January, Pfizer said it would buy drugmaker Wyeth for $68 billion, adding that company's biotech research and development capabilities. Then in April, the company's president of biotherapeutics and bioinnovation, Corey Goodman, resigned. Goodman had championed the development.

Pfizer says it plans to continue biotech operations at its South San Francisco campus with the 100 employees slated to move to San Francisco.

There's still hope Mission Bay can become the biotech hub without Pfizer's presence. Neches notes pharmaceutical companies Merck, Celgene and FibroGen have all taken up space in the development. The building Pfizer was going to occupy is nearing completion.

Shares of Pfizer rose 13 cents to $14.70 while shares of Wyeth rose 2 cents to $45.32 after the pullout was announced.

Contact Us