Sanofi To Layoff Hundreds In Sales And R&D

Sanofi To Layoff Hundreds In Sales And R&D

November 4th, 2011 // 12:23 pm @

In the aftermath of the Genzyme acquisition, Sanofi told employees this morning about plans to shift various R&D operations between New Jersey and Massachusetts, as well as scaling back the sales force, primarily in the cardiovascular and oncology groups. All told, hundreds of jobs will be eliminated, although a spokesman was unable to specify the actual number until more details are sorted out.

The cutbacks are hardly suprising, though. A few weeks ago, Sanofi disclosed plans to cut another $2.9 billion in costs in hopes of coping with upcoming expiration of patents on big-selling meds, notably the Plavix bloodthinner and Avapro high blood pressure medicine. R&D costs, for instance, are in the process of being cut by 12 percent from 2008 to about $1.1 billion, excluding Genzyme. And the overall headcount is being reduced from 13,000 to 10,000 (back story).

The layoffs are the latest in what is shaping up as a barrage of job cuts being made lately by the pharmaceutical industry. In recent weeks, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Novartis and Merck have all disclosed plans to eliminate thousands of jobs, cumulatively, from various operations and locations around the globe. A notable exception is Asia, where hiring is taking place. Novartis, for instance, is shifting some chemistry and regulatory work to India.

At Sanofi, the drugmaker is in the process of consolidating its research and early development work in the Boston area, where Genzyme is based. This includes pharma R&D, the Sanofi Pasteur biologics unit and global oncology, which was shifted there a year ago. Later-stage development work will be concentrated in Bridgewater, New Jersey, where Sanofi maintains US headquarters, although the spokesman says no final decision has been made on which programs are moving where. Overall, Sanofi employs about 3,000 people in New Jersey and 5,000 in Massachusetts, including Genzyme.

Source: Pharmalot

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