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Pfizer Calls a Halt
to Vaccine Research Project
August 30, 1999

Pfizer Inc. has canceled its plan to build a $35 million animal vaccine research center at UConn.

The announcement was made in early August in light of local opposition, including most recently two lawsuits filed by the Coalition to Save Horsebarn Hill. The pharmaceutical company said it could not afford to wait while the project was delayed in court.

"Pfizer's decision to bring its involvement with the Center of Excellence in Vaccine Research to a close represents a missed opportunity not only for the University, its faculty and students, but also for the Town of Mansfield," said President Philip E. Austin.

The UConn-Pfizer Center for Excellence in Vaccine Research would have provided the University with state-of-the-art laboratories for research in agriculture and biotechnology and would have added an estimated $500,000 a year to the town's tax revenues.

The move also is seen as a blow to economic development in the state. The project was believed to be the largest potential collaboration between private industry and higher education in Connecticut.

Austin said the University will continue to pursue its goal, set out in the strategic plan, of pursuing public-private partnerships.

"This partnership was but one of a long list of projects to move the University forward. The loss of this particular project will not impede our continued transformation into one of the nation's leading public research universities," Austin said.

"Our network of partnerships with Connecticut business is expanding and, despite the outcome of this vaccine research collaboration, Pfizer is eager to continue its work with UConn in a variety of other areas."