GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) plans to cut fewer than 50 research and development positions as it scales back its Neurosciences Medicines Development Center, the company confirmed on Wednesday.

Kathy Pitman, a company spokeswoman, said that of those cuts, less than half are in RTP. Other cuts affect clinical trial sites nationwide.

London-based GSK’s U.S. headquarters is located in Research Triangle Park and employs some 5,000 people in the area.

Since 2007, the company has cut about 22,000 jobs worldwide and reduced its U.S. workforce by about 4,000, according to reports.The company announced last February that it was looking to make cuts in the Neurosciences MDC, Pittman said.

The world’s second largest drug maker by revenue, posted a fourth-quarter net loss in 2010 of 690 million pounds ($1.12 billion) for the three months to Dec. 31, compared with a profit of 1.63 billion pounds the year before.

GSK, like many drug companies, has been hurt by slowing sales. In addition to slowing sales, the company also paid out $1.1 billion to settle legal claims related to its controversial diabetes drug Avandia following allegations it increases the risk of heart attacks.

GSK has said it intends to sell off some of its lesser-known brands and buy back some of its own stock from investors.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reported last week that GSK will keep 1,300 employees in Philadelphia – but at a new location. The company said they would relocate its employees to a 205,000 square-foot building that will be constructed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

GSK moved its North American headquarters to RTP from Philadelphia.


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