Six months after pharma giants Pfizer and Wyeth, located at 865 Ridge Road, first announced plans to merge, Wyeth shareholders July 20 voted overwhelmingly to be acquired by Pfizer for $68 billion

According to the Associated Press, more than 98 percent of Wyeth stockholders voted to approve the acquisition, which will make Pfizer by far the top-selling drug maker in the world.

The deal also unites Pfizer’s powerhouse drug marketing with Wyeth’s rich reservoir of research and manufacturing abilities. Wyeth is a leader in biologic drugs, vaccines, non-prescription medicines, and animal health products.

Originally announced in January, the deal values Wyeth’s shares at $50.19 apiece, $33 of which is expected to be paid in cash.

The deal still requires some regulatory approvals and will not end so rosily for everyone. Pfizer spokesman Ray Kerrins has stated that his company is looking to cut as many as 20,000 jobs and close five manufacturing facilities in the wake of the merger.

Whether Wyeth’s Princeton facility is on the chopping block is not yet known. In January, Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler said that the company would be cutting as much as 8 percent of its research staff — as many as 800 staff, including up to 300 scientists.

The vote by Wyeth’s shareholders came during their annual meeting near its Madison headquarters. After the vote Wyeth’s CEO and chairman Bernard Poussot told shareholders that he had “mixed feelings” about the deal. Poussot will step down once the acquisition is complete.

Wyeth (WYE), 865 Ridge Road, CN 8000, Princeton 08540-8000; 732-329-2300; fax, 732-274-4205.

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