When Pfizer comes to town

Nearly two decades ago, vacant land on Frontage Road was designated a potential site for private ventures in biotechnology and the health sciences. In February, that vision bore its first fruit with the announcement of plans for a $35 million clinical research unit by Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest pharmaceutical company. During a ceremony in the Medical Historical Library attended by the governor, the mayor and Yale’s president, Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell, Ph.D., unveiled plans for a 60,000-square-foot facility that would employ more than 40 staff and provide 50 inpatient beds for Phase I clinical trials. Pending approvals, construction is to begin in the fall. The proximity to Yale, its research capabilities and its scientists made New Haven the company’s first choice. “The informality of that interaction,” McKinnell said, “is going to spawn ideas that neither of us may have had.”

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