Pfizer to end Alzheimer’s research, cut 300 jobs

Pfizer Inc.’s decision to stop research and development into new neuroscience drugs, including its work in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, will lead to about 300 job cuts.

The move to end the neuroscience-discovery program followed an internal review, the New York-based drugmaker said in an emailed statement Saturday. The job reductions will primarily affect employees at facilities in Cambridge and Andover in Massachusetts, as well as Groton, Connecticut.

Pfizer said it will continue its support of tanezumab, a late-stage pain treatment in development with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co., and the fibromyalgia drug Lyrica, as well as research into neurological drugs for rare diseases.

Tanezumab has potential to be a game-changer as a non-opioid pain treatment, with blockbuster potential of more than $1 billion in annual sales.

The company also plans to soon start a venture fund committed to neuroscience.

Pfizer is expected to make a presentation Monday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, one of the biggest annual meetings in the industry. The drugmaker is currently weighing the future of its consumer-health division, possibly with a sale or spin-off that could bring in billions. The unit had revenue of $3.4 billion in 2016.

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