Pfizer Inc. to Close CovX Research LLC Unit in San Diego, Axes 100 Jobs

Published: Feb 20, 2013

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says it has eliminated 100 jobs in San Diego by closing its CovX unit. News of the closure was released Friday, said spokeswoman Lauren Starr. Like other big pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has been laying off large numbers of employees at its various research locations over the last few years, and closing some locations entirely. San Diego has lost fewer life science jobs than the big employment centers back east in areas such as New Jersey and Connecticut. A few years ago, Pfizer employed more than 1,000 people in its La Jolla location. Numerous calls and emails to Pfizer Monday to get an updated headcount were not returned. "We continue to prioritize our R&D capital allocation to drive the next wave of innovative medicines and vaccines to patients, from a robust pipeline," Pfizer said in a statement emailed by Starr. "There has been no change in the amount we invest in R&D, but rather in the way that we invest it. As a result of this, we have announced the closure of the CovX Research Unit in San Diego, CA. Pfizer is committed to supporting affected colleagues through this transition.” The layoffs were not surprising, said Joe Panetta, CEO of the San Diego life science trade group Biocom. "I think that it is important to keep on perspective the fact that large pharmas have been evolving over a number of years to integrate biotechnology drug research into what has previously been mainly a focus on small molecule chemistry," Panetta said by email. Pfizer informed him of the decision Friday, Panetta said.

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