Pfizer has outlined some of its R&D plans at an investor presentation in Hong Kong, and also announced its intention to double the current levels of its manufacturing outsourcing.

The New York-based drugs giant said that it is looking at contracting out as much as 30% (up from 15%) of its manufacturing to facilities in Asia. Such a move would fit in with the firm’s cost-cutting strategy which will see Pfizer cut its worldwide workforce by 10%, or 10,000 jobs, and save $2 billion.

Moving these activities to Asia makes financial sense, said Martin Mackay, Pfizer's new head of R&D. “For a lot of this work, it makes sense to outsource to lower-cost areas, from New York or elsewhere in the USA to Asia," he noted, especially as Pfizer is shutting down sites at Brooklyn and Omaha, while a third manufacturing facility in Feucht, Germany is being sold off as part of the aforementioned restructuring.

Pfizer also said it would expand its R&D investments in China, India, Japan and South Korea, where it will spend $300 over the next five years. Asian countries are going to dominate the global economy in the future, the firm claims and the continent’s pharmaceutical market is expected to be worth $200 billion by 2017.

Dr Mackay also acknowledged that Pfizer’s pipeline is "not as rich as I'd like it to be," Martin MacKay, but said that he has faith in the firm’s Phase II portfolio which consists of 47 compounds. In Asia specifically, some 80 research projects are currently ongoing, he added.

Closer to gettin gto market, Dr Mackay said that apixaban, the late-stage anticoagulant which is being developed with Bristol-Myers Squibb, is performing well. He concluded by saying that it is Pfizer’s aim to become a “top-tier biotherapeutics company” while “raising the bar” on productivity and pursuing science “outside our walls”.