Pfizer has begun work on a new medical facility in the Nigerian state of Kano as part of a settlement concerning Trovan and a controversial clinical trial of its antibiotic carried out in the country in the nineties.

A lawsuit was finally settled in July 2009 which had been brought by state of Kano which alleged that the clinical trial carried out on Trovan (trovafloxacin) in 1996 resulted in the death of 11 children. Pfizer vehemently denied that Trovan caused the deaths and extensive damage to children in Kano, claiming that they were due to “Nigeria’s worst meningitis epidemic in history”.

Though Kano had demanded $2 billion in damages, a $75 million package was agreed, and the new $30 million site forms a major part of that. Chris Loder, spokesman for the US drugs giant was quoted as saying that "the construction of a new state-of-the-art medical centre in Kano is proof positive that Pfizer continues to fulfil its commitments to Nigeria and its people".

Sepsis pact with Sirs-Lab
Meantime, Pfizer has linked up with Germany's Sirs-Lab to develop molecular diagnostic tests for the early diagnosis of sepsis.

The aim of the collaboration, the Jena-headquarterd firm said, is to improve the outcome of patients with life-threatening infection, by using diagnostics, "to achieve the earliest and most accurate targeting of anti-infective therapy". The initial focus of the pact is on severe fungal blood-stream infections.