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Pfizer U.S. research jobs jeopardized by promises to UK for merger

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PfeizerEmployees at Pfizer Inc's U.S. research centers, such as the La Jolla, California site that specializes in cancer drugs, may want to dust off their resumes if the company's proposed acquisition of Britain's AstraZeneca comes to fruition.

Pfizer said on Friday it was determined to reach a deal that would restore its status as the world's biggest pharmaceutical company despite AstraZeneca's rejection of its latest cash and stock offer of 63 billion pounds ($106 billion).

To reassure the British government about its proposal, Pfizer has promised the combined company would keep 20 percent of its research and development workforce in the country. It also vowed to complete construction of a research center planned by AstraZeneca in Cambridge, England, and retain a manufacturing plant in the northern town of Macclesfield.

"There's no doubt in my mind that if they are making these concessions to the British government, there will be cuts on this side of the Atlantic," said Raghuram Selvaraju, healthcare equity research analyst with Aegis Capital.

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