Pfizer shrinks R&D operations

Pfizer regroups businesses under global umbrellas
Pfizer regroups businesses under global umbrellas

Pfizer will shrink the square footage of its global R&D operation by 35% as it absorbs Wyeth, sharply reducing some sites, shuttering others and prompting an as-yet unspecified number of layoffs.

Where company R&D spanned 20 sites upon the closing of its Wyeth acquisition last month, R&D activities will now be conducted at five main sites and nine specialized units worldwide. The main sites are in Cambridge, MA, Groton, CT, Pearl River, NY, La Jolla CA and Sandwich, UK. Specialized sites include the monoclonal antibody discovery lab in San Francisco, regenerative medicine work in Cambridge, UK and “R&D activities” in Shanghai, China.

The company will discontinue operations in: Princeton, NJ; Chazy, Rouses Point and Plattsburgh, NY; Sanford and Research Triangle Park, NC; and Gosport, Slough/Taplow, UK. R&D functions at the company's New London, CT site will be folded into those at its nearby Groton research facility. Activities at its Collegeville, PA, Pearl River, NY and St. Louis sites will be sharply reduced.  

“While these changes are expected to bolster productivity and reduce costs, they will result in staff reductions,” said a company release.

Going forward, Pfizer's R&D operations will be divided into a biotherapeutics division, headed by Mikael Dolsten, and a pharmatherapeutics division, headed by Martin Mackay, that “will work together in high-productivity disease areas” including neuroscience, pain, inflammation, oncology, metabolic disorders, vaccines and infectious diseases.


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