Pfizer is wasting no time merging Wyeth into its corporate structure. The pharma giant announced its global research facility strategy on Monday, punctuated by the closing of six sites including its massive New London facility, which opened in 2001.
The company will now house its research labs in five sites located in Cambridge, MA; Groton, CT; Pearl River, NY; La Jolla, CA; and Sandwich, England. Pfizer notes that two of the main research sites are legacy Wyeth sites.
“We looked at the full portfolio of the combined companies and said that we know what we want to achieve and we want to utilize the best facilities to do that,” said Pfizer spokesperson Ray Kerins said. “The hard part of [the story] is that we have to close a number of sites around the world—that impacts many families and that’s a very unfortunate thing to have to do.”
Pfizer will end R&D operations in Princeton, NJ; Chazy, NY; Rouses Point, NY; and Plattsburgh, NY; Sanford, NC and Research Triangle Park, NC; and Gosport, England and Slough/Taplow, England. The New London staff will be transitioned to Groton, CT.
The news hammers home Pfizer’s promise to merge the two companies significantly faster than had been done in previous deals. Before the ink was even dry on the contract, Pfizer had announced that it was bringing on-board eight senior executives from Wyeth to lead new divisions.
“In less than a month, we have made complex business decisions needed to combine these two R&D organizations thoughtfully yet quickly,” stated Martin Mackay, president, Pharma Therapeutics Research & Development, in a release. “Moving forward on our aggressive timeline, we are analyzing the combined portfolio and prioritizing research projects that will address unmet medical need and bring Pfizer’s scientific and competitive advantage to the benefit of patients.”
The company has yet to release the actual number of employees being released, but reports indicate that 1,500 employees at the New London, CT, location will be transitioned to the Groton building.
"In Groton and New London, there will be a minimal headcount effect," said Mackay. "Our presence in Connecticut will be approximately the same ... it's about 5,000 now, and that number will continue, though the makeup will change around the edges."
Plans are still underway to announce the combined drug portfolio within 30 to 60 days. It has not been confirmed whether or not the pipeline will be publicly unveiled within that time frame.