Rising from the Ashes of Pfizer: The Michigan Contract Research Organization Cluster

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and president of The Upjohn Company.

Pharm Optima. The Portage, MI-based company says it focuses on the mid to late phases of drug discovery between target identification and selection of lead compounds,” according to its website.

Philipsen Chemical Patent Search. This Ypsilanti, MI-based firm is owned by Judy Johnson-Philipsen, a former medicinal chemist at Pfizer/Parke-Davis, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Research Essential Services. This Plymouth, MI-based firm, founded by former Pfizer scientists, says it designs and executies “high quality research protocols in a state-of-the-art facility.” President Robert Sigler, a toxicologic pathologist, has 23 years of experience at Parke-Davis, Pfizer, and Esperion Therapeutics.

RTI Laboratories. This Livonia, MI-based firm provides materials science and environmental chemistry services.

TransPharm Preclinical Solutions. This Jackson, MI-based company says it offers “a complete array of studies in infectious disease animal models for the antibiotic discovery industry.” CEO Daniel Ross got his experience at Wayne State University and Pfizer.

Van Andel Research Institute. This Grand Rapids, MI-based research center was founded in 1996, and has about 250 employees and an annual operating budget of about $40 million, according to a fact sheet on the organization’s website.

Velesco Pharma Services. This Ann Arbor, MI-based firm does chemistry/manufacturing/controls work for early stage drug development. It was founded by former Pfizer scientists in 2007. David Barnes, a 19-year veteran of Pfizer, is Velesco’s CEO.

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  • Julie

    Great article! The Pfizer shut down
    certainly left a lot of very talented people without many options. But, I
    believe you’re missing one key organization off of this list – MMS Holdings
    Inc. Dr. Uma Sharma started MMS due to the Pfizer layoffs in 2006. Here is the
    website if you want to take a look: http://www.mmsholdings.com/leadership1/