Pfizer is closing four Chicago-area laboratory facilities, a biotech unit in South San Francisco, a French research center, and is eliminating Michigan research jobs in cost-cutting moves meant to make the most of the company's $57 billion purchase of Pharmacia. Pfizer officials declined to say how many jobs were going in the rollup, which will shutter 3 of 25 major research facilities over the next 18 months.

"We're not providing numbers at this stage," said Stephen Lederer, a spokesman at Pfizer's Connecticut research stronghold.

But the layoffs could add up to one of the biggest mass firings in a year of belt-tightening that has hit research staffs hard. Illinois labor officials have received a notice from Pfizer that signals at least 500 jobs will be lost in an action scheduled for June 16 at Pharmacia's Downers Grove operation alone. Pfizer filed in compliance with a US law requiring large employers...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?