AstraZeneca Downsizing R&D Staff

Positions for 1,600 scientists at the pharmaceutical company will be eliminated globally.

By | March 19, 2013

WIKIMEDIA, LUKE-2The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will eliminate 1,600 R&D positions worldwide and will move many jobs to new facilities. The decision, announced yesterday (March 18), comes at a time when the company is facing declining profits and competition from generic drugs, the Associated Press reported.

“This is a major investment in the future of this company that will enable us to accelerate innovation by improving collaboration, reducing complexity, and speeding up decision-making,” said Pascal Soriot, the company’s CEO, in a statement.

At the company’s center in Wilmington, Delaware, 650 positions will be eliminated, while another 550 will move elsewhere, including to the company’s facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

The facility at Alderley Park in northwestern England will no longer have R&D employees. Many of these positions will be transferred to a $500 million center the company is building in Cambridge, England.

Earlier this year, the company cut 2,200 R&D jobs. Soriot, who became CEO in October, is expected to announce his strategic plan to investors later this month. The current restructuring will cost $1.4 billion now but should save the company $190 million annually when all the cuts go into effect, AstraZeneca’s statement said.

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