Pfizer gives legally binding commitment over R&D jobs

Guy Bentley
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US drugs giant Pfizer has released the 23 point statement it will present to MPs tomorrow. Pfizer will appear before the Business, Innovation and Skills committee to answer questions about the company's potential takeover of Astrazeneca.

Pfizer has restated several commitments it has given to the UK government, including promises to maintain 20 per cent of its R&D staff in the UK.

"With our commitment to foster R&D in the UK, we are matching words with deeds—and we will keep our word", Pfizer said in the statement. Pfizer has gone so far as to promise that should it succeed in the £63bn takeover these commitments would be legally binding.

In addition to safeguarding British jobs in R&D, Pfizer has promised to retain a factory in Macclesfield and complete Astrazeneca's research centre in Cambridge. The company's European business headquarters and European regulatory headquarters would also be relocated to the UK.

However, the pharmaceutical company has not only attempted to reach out to MPs but has also released a series of videos arguing the case for a deal between Pfizer and Astrazeneca.

In one of the videos Pfizer's chief scientist Mikael Dalston rejected the notion that the company's desire for Astrazeneca was driven by the lack of drugs in its pipeline.

"There are a lot of exciting projects moving forward. A couple of years ago, we started R&D turnaround. It was a response of R&D to Ian Read's first imperative of fixing the innovative core of the company. We have made great progress", said Dalston.