GlaxoSmithKline to stop antidepressant research

Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced that it would stop research work into antidepressant medicines to focus on more valuable drugs.

Chief executive Andrew Witty said the company would stop discovery research in selected areas, including pain and depression. The company also has plans to set up a new research unit for rare diseases.

The company expects to save as much as £500 million annually by 2012 by cutting costs.

GlaxoSmithKline’s current move will result into hundreds of job losses. Last week, AstraZeneca announced its plans to slash 8,000 jobs to cut costs.

The UK-based company also revealed that its pre-tax profits soared 18 per cent to settle at £7.9 billion in 12-month period ended December 31. Sales climbed 16 per cent to settle at £28.4 billion during the same period.

Shares in GlaxoSmithKline gained 21.68 pence to close at £12.39-a-share.