Pfizer Cutbacks Reflect Difficulties Facing Big Pharma
by: ChinaBio Today November 10,
Pfizer announced it would close six out of its 20 R&D facilities around the globe as part of its post-Wyeth-acquisition consolidation. Some employees will be transferred to other facilities, while others will be let go. Pfizer did not disclose how many of its R&D staff would be fired, though it said R&D square footage would be reduced by 35%. The companyâ€™s Shanghai R&D operation was not affected by the reorganisation.
After the changes, Pfizer will have five major R&D centres: Cambridge, Mass.; Groton, Conn.; Pearl River, N.Y.; La Jolla, Calif.; and Sandwich, U.K. There are three additional â€śresearch-oriented laboratoriesâ€ť with specialised research capabilities: monoclonal antibody discovery in San Francisco, regenerative medicine in Cambridge, UK, and research and development activities in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai facility was given the least specific mission of the three.
Pfizerâ€™s Shanghai operation now has a staff of 345, up from 17 when the facility opened in 2005. Its strategy follows a partnership model that is neither virtual nor completely in-house. In recent months, the company has announced two cooperation agreements, one with Fudan University and the other with the Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences. Pfizer says it has spent $150 million on its China R&D operations between 2005 and the first six months of 2009.
Pfizer will close its R&D facilities in Princeton, NJ; Chazy, Rouses Point and Plattsburgh, NY; Sanford and Research Triangle Park, NC; and Gosport, Slough/Taplow, UK. It will move some functions from Collegeville, PA; Pearl River, NY; and St. Louis to other locations.