Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said today it will shift 1,100 research jobs from Groton to Cambridge, Mass. over the next 18 months, as it seeks to speed up changes in its research and development operations.
The move, announced in the company's fourth quarter earnings statement, will leave 3,300 employees in Groton.
"While our presence here is changing, Groton will remain our largest R & D site and become a center of excellence for R & D," said Mackay Jimeson, a Pfizer spokesman.
According to earnings release, Pfizer said it is planning to enhance its presence in Cambridge to complement other research team in other hubs like San Francisco, New York, La Jolla, Calif. [Sample Our Free Connecticut Business Midday Newsletter]
The changes come as Pfizer struggles to build a pipeline of products ahead of generic competition for the blockbuster cholesterol drug, Lipitor. That key drug loses patent protection in December 2011. The company has also faced at least half a dozen failures in late-stage testing of potential drugs over the past two years, including Alzheimer's disease treatment Dimebon, osteoarthritis treatment tanezumab and cancer drug figitumumab.
Multiple trials that were designed to expand the marketing approval of its cancer drug Sutent also failed.
The company also made an expensive deal in October 2009, paying $68 billion to buy rival Wyeth. It had to halve its dividend to pay for the buyout, angering investors. The company on Monday said the board of directors boosted its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to 20 cents a share from 18 cents a share.