Shire Cutting More UK R&D Jobs – CEO Overhauls Operations

Shire Cutting More UK R&D Jobs – CEO Overhauls Operations

November 8th, 2013 // 1:35 pm @

Shire Pharmaceuticals Plc is cutting UK research jobs and is going to move its Swiss operations as one part of a large reorganization that is being spearheaded by CEO Flemming Ornskov.

About 200 employees at Shire’s HQ in the UK in Basingstoke may lose their jobs. The company also is planning to move its Swiss facilities from Eysins to Zug and has started to consult with workers about this.

Shire is planning to shut down a number of its drug development programs other than for rare diseases, and is going to focus its R&D on drugs that have the highest chances of commercial and clinical success. This will mean there will be a lot less R&D being done in Basingstoke, England.

The word that Shire is cutting jobs in the UK is just another blow to that country’s R&D industry. Novartise is cutting more than 500 jobs in Horsham, and AstraZeneca and Pfizer also have cut jobs there recently.

Shire is much smaller than some of the large pharmaceutical companies that have pulled out of the UK, but this move is going to hurt the R&D industry in the UK in a big way. It could, however, bolster the US side of the business. The Financial Times reported this week that Shire is bringing more of its operations to Lexington MA, where Shire focuses largely on rare diseases. The Boston and Cambridge facilities have been doing well recently as restructuring has increased company presence in MA.

It seems that the new CEO is trying to simplify Shire into a company with a simpler structure. Over the last 10 years, the firm diversified a lot by adding new subsidiaries that worked independently. But now those barriers are starting to come down, and jobs are being cut.

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