About 170 people will lose their jobs this winter when pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim shuts down its research facility in Laval.

The move will affect research scientists studying virology, specifically Hepatitis C, HIV and other infectious diseases.

In a statement released Tuesday, Boehringer VP  Michel Pairet said the company‚Äôs decision to close the lab was based on shifting demands in the field of virology.

Four years ago the company spent $36 million upgrading their Laval facility.

In the past year, three other pharmaceutical companies either closed or scaled back their Montreal operations.