Pfizer to lop off Asian research unit amid major R&D downsizing

As the drug giant seeks to carve out more than $1 billion for its budget, Pfizer ($PFE) confirmed plans to exit a clinical research operation in Singapore. The move shows that even research in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region is subject to cutbacks.

In recent years Pfizer CEO Ian Read's regime has been slicing and dicing R&D mostly in the West, with the closure of programs in Sandwich, U.K., and the relocation of research away from Groton, CT. Last month the company revealed that the 2012 budget for exploring new treatments shrank to $7.8 billion, after the company spent $9 billion in 2011.  

The planned closure of Pfizer's clinical research unit in Singapore comes as the company looks to chop off another $1.3 billion in R&D spending during 2013. As the Business Times reports, Pfizer plans to shutter its operations in space leased at Raffles Hospital in Singapore in mid-2013, with about 30 staffers feeling the impact of the decision.

"This decision was made as part of Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development's ongoing comprehensive effort to increase operational efficiencies and to create a more focused and sustainable R&D engine," a Pfizer spokeswoman told the news service.

Indeed, New York-based Pfizer has pushed for more outsourcing of clinical research work at home and abroad. The cutbacks have stung thousands of workers around the world.

- see the Business Times article

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