Pfizer today is opening an R&D facility in Cambridge, MA, where the pharma giant will consolidate 1,000 staffers previously based at three locations within the region.

Pfizer scientists will work from the facility on a range of clinical programs across therapeutic areas that include inflammation, immunology, rare disease, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and neuroscience, the company said.

The new 280,000-square-foot R&D hub, at 610 and 700 Main St. near Kendall Square, is designed to position Pfizer closer to the dense concentration of academic institutions, hospitals and patient organizations within the top-tier Boston/Cambridge biopharma cluster.

One of those academic institutions, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is Pfizer’s landlord, as well as the company’s partner in a three-year research collaboration launched in February to advance drug discovery and development technologies by translating discoveries in synthetic biology.

“Our new Kendall Square presence in Cambridge represents an important milestone in Pfizer’s approach to creating a sustainable R&D engine that is designed to yield a flow of innovative therapies year after year,” Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., Pfizer’s president of worldwide research and development, said in a statement.

Dr. Dolsten added: “Having all of our Cambridge-area researchers working closely together in one of the world’s most exciting biomedical ecosystems will allow us to continue our efforts to grow our external collaborations and has the potential to help speed the translation of scientific knowledge into potential medical breakthroughs across areas of unmet need such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson's disease.”

José-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D., Pfizer group vp of BioTherapeutics R&D, told The Boston Globe that Pfizer has 25 to 30 research collaborations under way in the Boston area – a number that is expected to increase with the opening of the new R&D hub.

The new R&D hub is Pfizer’s newest facility in Massachusetts. Over the past 15 years, Pfizer has established in the Bay State a research and manufacturing site in Andover, MA; and a global headquarters in Boston for its Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI), a network of academic-industry research hubs designed to bridge the gap between early scientific discovery and its translation into new medicines. CTI has additional locations in New York, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) and MIT President L. Rafael Reif, Ph.D., will lead dignitaries in a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for noon.

“With this extraordinary core of Pfizer research teams now right next door to our labs at MIT, we can capitalize on the power of proximity to speed progress towards solutions to urgent challenges in human health,” Reif said.

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