Around 900 jobs are set to go at GlaxoSmithKline in the US as the finer details of plans to generate annual savings of around $1.6 billion a year start to emerge.

The drug giant said it intends to reshape and reduce the size of its commercial and R&D operations in the US “to be more agile to flex with shifting market demands”, with job cuts affecting employees in Philadelphia, its Research Triangle Park, and the field. Retail sales teams focused on launching new medicines to the market will largely not be affected.

The majority of R&D cuts will be seen at RTP “as we consolidate our geographic footprint and locate the majority of our R&D organisation into two major centres – in the Philadelphia area and Stevenage (UK)”, the firm noted.

In a separate letter to the state’s Department of Commerce, GSK reportedly said 350 RTP jobs are up for the chop in the first quarter of 2015, with an additional 450 positions in the second quarter and 100 more by the end of the year.

Plans for a global reorganisation of its business were announced back in October. “Cuts are not being made across the board but are strategic, focused changes to allow GSK to operate more efficiently,” it said, adding that they will "sharpen the focus in discovery and development and reduce funding in certain areas of the pipeline”.