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Pfizer cuts R&D sites, jobs following Wyeth acquisition
11-16-2009
by Amy Swinderman  |  Email the author
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NEW YORK— A portion of the impact the Pfizer-Wyeth acquisition will have on the companies' employees is now known, as Pfizer has announced plans to close six of its 20 research sites around the world.  
 
In a statement issued Nov 9, Pfizer said it will reduce its global R&D square footage by 35 percent. R&D activities will now be conducted at five main sites and nine specialized units around the world, compared to the 20 R&D sites Pfizer had upon closing of the $67.3 billion Wyeth acquisition on Oct. 16.  
 
According to Pfizer, the company will move a number of functions from Collegeville, Pa.; Pearl River, N.Y.; and St. Louis to other locations, and will discontinue R&D operations in Princeton, N.J.; Chazy, Rouses Point and Plattsburgh, N.Y.; Sanford and Research Triangle Park, N.C.; and Gosport, Slough/Taplow, U.K. In addition, Pfizer will consolidate R&D functions from its New London, Conn., site to its nearby research facility in Groton, Conn.  
 
The company says its research efforts will be spread at more than a dozen sites around the world, with a particular focus on five centers: Cambridge, Mass.; Groton; Pearl River; La Jolla, Calif.; and Sandwich in the U.K.  
 
Mikael Dolsten, president of BioTherapeutics Research & Development at Pfizer, said in a statement that this global network brings together scientific strengths from both companies, continues efforts to increase research productivity, focuses disease-area research in single locations and more efficiently uses the company's real estate.
 
"By focusing our R&D operations in these centers, we are building the world's premier biopharmaceutical R&D enterprise," Dolsten stated. "This new structure puts Pfizer in the best position to conduct cutting-edge research within and beyond our own laboratories and to deliver a portfolio of high-impact medicines to patients."  
 
Pfizer also admitted there will be job cuts, but did not announce how many researchers will be let go. The company said earlier this year that it plans to cut 15 percent of the combined Pfizer-Wyeth workforce, but didn't release specific figures on how many R&D jobs would be cut as part of the consolidation.
 
Following the news, Pfizer shares rose 47 cents, or 2.8 percent, to close at $17.43.

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