Report: Glaxo slashing R&D, thousands of jobs

There's a tremendous amount of buzz this morning about the likelihood that GlaxoSmithKline will announce later in the week that it will cut thousands of more jobs--concentrating much of the blow on its R&D centers--as it shifts its market stance from Europe and the U.S. toward emerging markets.

According the The Times of London, Glaxo will pink slip 4,000 workers later in the week, with the axe falling heavily on its R&D centers. And The Times speculates that many of these new cuts will be made in the U.K., where the company has six R&D centers. The downsizing falls fast on the heels of a move by AstraZeneca to cut a billion dollars out of its R&D budget over the next four years. Glaxo's "strategy is to diversify and to move away from work on small molecules," one industry insider told The Times.

At this stage, though, no one seems to know anything for certain. What is known is that Glaxo has seen its profits swell as demand spiked for swine flu vaccine last year. The global pharma company will announce its profits and sales figures on Thursday, when it will make clear any cuts to the workforce.

- here's the story from The Times