PHARMACEUTICAL giant Eli Lilly will close its drug discovery centre here in December with the loss of about 130 jobs.

The shock closure comes two years into the company's plans to invest $150 million to expand the centre at Biopolis over the next five years.

Eli Lilly said the decision was partly a review of its global business aimed at slashing US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) in costs and axing 5,500 employees by the end of next year.

The American firm's other units here, including its sales and marketing division and a joint centre for clinical pharmacology research at the National University of Singapore, will remain open, a spokesman for the centre said.
Existing research projects at the centre will be moved to the company's global headquarters, she added.

The Indiana-based firm will also keep a number of ongoing scientific collaborations with universities and research institutions in Singapore and across Asia, but manage them from its global headquarters, rather than from the Republic.

Eli Lilly shuts S'pore centre