Pfizer is a international pharmaceutical company with the purpose of bringing breakthrough therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives. Pfizers belief is that all people deserve to live healthy lives and therefore employees worldwide are “working on breakthroughs that change patients’ live”. This drives the desire to provide access to medicines that are safe, effective, and affordable. Pfizer researches, develops and markets drugs and vaccines to treat or prevent some of the most threatening diseases of our time. Pfizer Manufacturing Austria GmbH is part of the Pfizer group based in Orth at the Danube in Lower Austria, close to Vienna. The site produces the drug substance for Pfizers worldwide demand of two vaccines against. One vaccine against early summer meningococcal encephalitis – TBE and one vaccine against meningitis caused by serogroup C meningococcus – MenC. Approximately ten million vaccine doses are produced every year. Pfizer Manufacturing Austria also provides Quality Control and Analytical Development on site.


Role of partner institution in project (100 -200 words):

As industry partner Pfizer Manufacturing Austria participates in the VAC2VAC initiative by contributing comprehensive scientific expertise in the field of human vaccines in development of an in vitro potency assay.

Furthermore Pfizer provides technical and regulatory expertise by offering wide-ranging experience in method development, qualification and transfer, process-related investigations, small scale process development as well as regulatory submissions.

Pfizer’s expertise in developing an in vitro potency lot-release assay based on ELISA method to replace animal testing will significantly support the initiative’s goal of developing non-animal alternatives.

By constantly working on 3R – replace, reduce and refine animal testing – Pfizer’s participation in VAC2VAC emphasizes the company’s commitment to deliver first-in-class science by knowledge investment and cross-border cooperation to advance science-based testing.


Annette Hessel

 Annett Hessel, PhD

Annett obtained her MS in Biology in 2006 (Faculty of Biosciences, Pharmacy and Psychology/University Leipzig/Germany). She joined the Molecular Vaccines/Virology R&D group at Baxter and graduated with a PhD in Medical Science in 2011 (Medical University Vienna/Baxter). Annett’s work at the Baxter Orth Molecular Vaccines group focused on recombinant Poxviruses, Influenza viruses and Flaviviruses. After Pfizer acquired the vaccines business from Baxter in 2014 she joined the Vaccines Analytical Development (MSAT) group and worked on recombinant Flaviviruses, FSME small scale model development and on various other bioassays (qPCR and ELISA). Since June 2017, Annett heads the Vaccines Analytical Development group.





Bernd Rinne, MS

Bernd obtained his MSc in Bio Sciences at the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, at the University Würzburg in Germany (1996). Since 1996 he worked in several QC and QA functions at the pharmaceutical industry. For Baxter he was responsible for the oversight of the analytical testing of plasma, at Novartis he worked as QP and at MSD he acted as Quality lead of a manufacturing site. At Pfizer Bernd is heading site Quality groups for several years now, since 2017 he is the Quality Lead for vaccines manufactured at Orth, Austria.