Amgen and AstraZeneca to Axe Jobs

August 21, 2007
BioPharm International Editors

Biotech giant Amgen (Thousand Oaks, CA, www.amgen.com) will shrink its workforce by 12–14 %, or approximately 2,200–2,600 employees, as part of its strategy to save more than $1 billion next year.

Biotech giant Amgen (Thousand Oaks, CA, www.amgen.com) will shrink its workforce by 12–14 %, or approximately 2,200–2,600 employees, as part of its strategy to save more than $1 billion next year. AstraZeneca (London, UK, www.astrazeneca.com) also plans to cut 7,600 jobs worldwide by 2010, more than double the amount announced earlier this year.

The job cuts at Amgen follow a series of recent clinical and regulatory setbacks, particularly involving Aranesp, its top-selling anemia drug. The company plans to complete its restructuring by 2008 and the changes will yield pre-tax savings of $1.0–$1.3 billion in 2008. The company also plans to close certain production operations and reduce the size of other units to become more efficient.

The AstraZeneca news comes after the company announced that second-quarter earnings fell to $1.43 billion, down from $1.6 billion a year ago, following its $15.6 billion acquisition of Maryland-based biotech MedIummune in April. Earlier this year, the company had announced it would cut 3,000 jobs by 2010 to compensate for anticipated losses from generic competition. The company aims to save more than $900 million annually by 2010 through restructuring.

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