Glaxo to cut more jobs as it aims to slash spending

GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) is set to cut hundreds of research and development jobs as it cuts costs and abandons some areas of research -- including depression -- joining a growing band of big drugmakers taking a knife to previously sacrosanct drug discovery work.

GSK, which employs 16,000 in the UK, has already cut more than 2,000 jobs around the world since 2007 as part of a restructuring drive.

The move should improve research productivity and help protect profit margins as a temporary boost from swine flu starts to dwindle, Europe’s biggest drugmaker said yesterday.

Glaxo yesterday beat expectations with a 33 per cent jump in fourth-quarter earnings, helped by a lower tax rate, a one-off accounting gain from a HIV joint venture with Pfizer, and record sales of H1N1 vaccines and flu drug Relenza.

Chief executive Andrew Witty said GSK was focusing on reducing risk.