Merger distracts Pfizer from biotech incubator

In 2007 Pfizer undertook a new project. The pharma giant pledged to invest $50 million over five years to help start-up biotechs get going at the company's incubator in La Jolla, CA. Pfizer hoped to foster up-and-coming companies with programs that would offer new development programs or technology that it could use in drug discovery work. Before long, the 33.5-acre campus was host to three companies: Fabrus, Wintherix and RGo Bioscience.

But as the San Diego Business Journal notes, Pfizer's focus has drifted away from its incubator as the company works to bring the newly-purchased Wyeth into the fold. A Pfizer spokesperson tells the paper that its plans for the project remain unchanged. But the company has not invested any new funds in the La Jolla site this year, and it put the incubator building up for sale under a lease-back arrangement. One of the early incubator tenants, Fabrus, graduated the program without landing a deal with Pfizer for its technology. "Pfizer has been caught up with the integration of Wyeth, and Fabrus will be spinning out as an independent entity," Fabrus CEO Vaughn Smider wrote in an e-mail to the Journal.

- read the San Diego Business Journal report