Granholm Announces Support to Keep Pfizer Talent, Resources in Michigan

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Biotech firm approved for loan to hire former Pfizer scientists

LANSING- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced Lansing-based AFID Therapeutics has been selected to receive funding from the state's Company Formation and Growth Fund (CFG) fund aimed at retaining Pfizer talent and assets in the state. The Michgian Strategic Fund (MSF) board approved $150,000 to hire three former Pfizer scientists at AFID's operations in the Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, Ottawa County, a former Pfizer property.

“Retaining our talented workforce is critical to the growth of a knowledge-based and diversified economy. ” Granholm said. “By investing in AFID Therapeutics, former Pfizer employees will lend their skills and expertise to help Michigan companies grow and create additional high-tech jobs.”

The MSF loan approval brings to $7.05 million the total amount loaned to 33 life-science companies in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Holland, Jackson, Lansing, Livonia, Kalamazoo and Portage.

“Fostering entrepreneurship is part of our strategy to ensure Pfizer scientists will continue to start and grow innovative Michigan biotech companies,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. Main also serves as chairman and president of the MSF board.                     

The $8-million Company Formation and Growth fund was created in June 2007 to accelerate company formation and growth and job creation based on employees, technologies and high-tech equipment left behind when Pfizer closed facilities in Ann Arbor, Holland, Kalamazoo, Plymouth Township and Portage. 

“AFID Therapuetics is a terrific example of how the MSU Bioeconomy Institute can accelerate the growth of bio-based businesses,” said Randy Thelen, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “The combination of world class laboratory space, pilot production capacity, access to MSU researchers and now this investment enable AFID, and firms like them, to fully commercialize their technologies.”

AFID Therapeutics was formed in 2003 to develop and deliver biochemical technologies and strategies for new drug discovery and development. It is now developing materials for more than 100 customers around the world.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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