Zoetis Inc., formerly the animal health business unit of Pfizer Inc., announced plans July 2 to expand its manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Neb.
The plan calls for a 19,000 sq. ft., three-story expansion of the existing production facility to accommodate the transfer of products from a third-party manufacturer to Lincoln. Early stages of planning and construction have begun, and groundbreaking is expected to occur later this summer, initiating the start of the full construction phase. Zoetis said it expects to complete construction in 2014.
This expansion will help ensure a consistent supply of medicines for livestock and companion animals, the announcement said. Currently, Zoetis produces some of its pharmaceutical products and vaccines at the Lincoln plant, including Bovi-Shield Gold and RespiSure One for livestock and Rimadyl for dogs.
The site is one of the largest internal manufacturing operations within Zoetis, with more than 500 employees, the announcement said, noting that the facility expansion could create as many as 30 new positions at peak production time.
"Zoetis is excited about the opportunity to expand its manufacturing footprint in Lincoln and to leverage the expertise in high-quality manufacturing that our colleagues have demonstrated in Lincoln for decades," Lincoln site leader Michael Morgan said.
Zoetis and its predecessors have long had a presence in the Lincoln area. In the early 20th century, drug firms and distributors such as Norden Laboratories established facilities in Nebraska that evolved over time. Since then, more recent incarnations of these animal health companies, including the Zoetis facility, have continued to serve as a part of the Lincoln community.
The Lincoln facility is one of the largest suppliers of Zoetis' animal health products for the world. It has been in operation at its current location since 1961 and produces 1,200 finished goods for more than 100 markets annually.
In an effort to help strengthen educational programs that affect the future of animal agriculture research and development, Zoetis announced July 1 a three-year pork research fellowship program with the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
As part of the program, Zoetis will contribute $100,000 to support the tuition of three students who are continuing their education in veterinary swine research.
To complement formal education at Iowa State and increase awareness of the commercial aspect of swine research, Zoetis research and development professionals will serve as mentors to the student fellows. Drs. Phil Gauger, Jianqiang Zhang and Locke Karriker of Iowa State will act as advisers for the three fellows, who will focus on swine research in applied pharmacology, veterinary diagnostics and production animal medicine.
The Zoetis Fellowship in Applied Pharmacology at the Swine Medicine Education Center will be a resource for the college in its ongoing efforts to train graduate students in swine infectious disease medicine and research. The center provides practitioners and stakeholders with information and skills to improve swine health and ensure pork safety worldwide.
The two Zoetis fellowships in veterinary diagnostics and production animal medicine will support graduate students in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory who are researching diagnostic medicine and swine infectious diseases. The lab provides comprehensive and cutting-edge diagnostic services to veterinarians, producers and animal owners in Iowa and nationally, according to the announcement.
Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals. The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012.