- Pfizer will add about 100 new jobs in oncology research and development at its La Jolla, California site, as its Cancer Immunology Discovery unit relocates out of South San Francisco and the company eliminates 100 roles there.
- A Pfizer spokesperson confirmed the changes to BioPharma Dive Tuesday. A recent filing with the state of California disclosed the 100 expected layoffs in South San Francisco, set to take effect on Feb. 18.
- The shift will make the La Jolla campus one of the "largest pharmaceutical research centers" in the San Diego area, the spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement to BioPharma Dive.
The changes to Pfizer's oncology R&D come nearly two months after Pfizer confirmed plans to reduce its overall workforce by about 2% in early 2019. The move will consolidate its cancer research at one primary West Coast location.
"This decision was made in an effort to simplify the organizational structure and footprint for our Oncology Research Unit," a Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement to BioPharma Dive.
The spokesperson added the company had no additional specifics to share yet on the restructuring announced in October. It remains unclear what type of jobs will be affected by the larger workforce reduction, which is expected to impact roughly 1,800 employees.
The 25-acre La Jolla campus has played a role in discovering or developing several cancer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including Sutent (sunitinib), Xalkori (crizotinib), Inlyta (axitinib) and Ibrance (palbociclib), according to Pfizer.
Like most pharmas, oncology has become a growing area of focus for Pfizer. In the past two months, the drugmaker has received four cancer drug approvals from the FDA for lung cancer, breast cancer and acute myeloid leukemia.
Changes in Pfizer's workforce structure cap a busy year of corporate news for the pharma company, including a reorganization plan rolled out this summer that established business units for new medicines, established products and consumer health.
And of course, Pfizer will have a new CEO for 2019. Company veteran Albert Bourla will succeed Ian Read on Jan. 1, with Read remaining chairman of the drugmaker's board.
One more change could be in the offing, too. Pfizer has said it will decide in 2018 between "strategic options" for its consumer health business, including a possible sale.