Drug giant Pfizer to add jobs in Mass.

Drug giant Pfizer to add jobs in Mass.

By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff

Drug giant Pfizer Inc. today said it will add about 350 jobs in the Boston area and look for a new site to house a pair of research operations it will move from southeastern Connecticut.

The news came as Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, unveiled a broad restructuring plan that will slash its global research and development spending by $1.5 billion, shedding thousands of jobs around the world. It was the second big research cutback since New York-based Pfizer acquired Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2009.

But even as Pfizer will be shrinking its research profile globally, it will grow in Massachusetts, where it currently employs about 2,300 workers at two research labs in Cambridge and a former Wyeth biotechnology plant in Andover.

“We have recognized that we want to have a very significant footprint in Massachusetts,” sad J.C. Gutierrez Ramos, the Cambridge-based Pfizer senior vice president of biotherapeutics research and development. “This emphasizes Pfizer’s commitment to increase our interactions with the academic medical centers, our interactions with the biotechnology companies and entrepreneurs, with all of the stakeholders in biomedical research.”

Shares of Pfizer jumped 5.5 percent to $19.22 on the New York Stock Exchange by 2:30 p.m., a gain of $1.

Pfizer’s move to expand research in the Boston area follows similar recent moves by global drugmakers such as Novartis AG of Switzerland and Sanofi-Aventis SA of France, which want to tap into the area’s life sciences ecosystem at a time when drug discovery has slowed worldwide.

Even as it eliminates 1,100 jobs in Groton, Conn., about a quarter of its workforce there, Pfizer said it will be consolidating its neuroscience and cardiovascular metabolic research operations in the Boston area.

Together, they are expected to bring about 450 jobs to Massachusetts, Gutierrez said. But Pfizer will also cut about 100 other jobs in the Boston area, mostly at a lab it will close on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. That lab does regenerative medicine and oligonuceotide therapeutics research, areas Pfizer will continue to be involved in collaboration with other partners.

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