2011 Top story: Pfizer downsizes

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.'s worldwide downsizing hit the region once again in 2011.

One year after selling its former research-and-development headquarters in New London to Electric Boat for $55 million, and in the midst of consolidating its local R&D force with the company's Groton campus, Pfizer in February announced job cuts affecting 1,100 scientists - a quarter of its local workers - by the middle of next year.

And much of Pfizer's groundbreaking drug-discovery research is moving to Massachusetts, while the scientists who remain here will be charged with formulating and testing promising medicines.

By the summer, Pfizer had largely dismantled its antibacterials research unit and sent some of its cardiovascular scientists to Cambridge. Groton's neuroscience unit will be out by the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, Pfizer also is trying to lease or sell three of its vacant research buildings in Groton.

- Lee Howard

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