Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced a new global vaccines research-and-development center in Rockville, Md., as the drug maker continues a company-wide restructuring that will cost more than 1,000 jobs in North Carolina.
The vaccines R&D center in Maryland will be GSK’s third, in addition to those in Belgium and Italy. It will consolidate vaccines R&D work at GSK’s other US sites, including Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
The R&D center will have little effect on GSK’s operations in North Carolina, where the company doesn’t do any vaccines research activity and employs only a handful of employees who support vaccines research.
In December GSK announced it would eliminate 900 positions here, with half being offered jobs with a contractor and others offered relocations to Pennsylvania. Last week the company said it laid off 180 more workers here on top of December’s announcement.
Meanwhile, GSK is in the midst of consolidating operations with the vaccines unit recently acquired from Novartis. The acquisition will bring 14,000 Novartis workers worldwide to GSK, some of whom are expected to be let go in another round of cost-cutting.
Before the corporate shakeup, GSK employed 4,500 at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park and 500 at its manufacturing facility in Zebulon.
GSK will update investors on the status of its corporate restructuring and the Novartis integration on May 6, when the British drug maker announces its first-quarter earnings.