Rumors of impending layoffs began swirling around the Langford division of Cyanamid Canada Inc. in Guelph, Ontario, last July. As molecular microbiologist Lori L. Burrows recalls it, the Toronto-area veterinary vaccine manufacturer was a small pawn in a battle among three pharmaceutical titans.
At first it seemed as if diplomacy would avert a bloodletting: Langford's parent company, American Cyanamid Co. of Princeton, N.J., planned to swap its human pharmaceuticals subsidiaries to SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, in return for Smith-Kline's animal-health interests. This apparently didn't sit well with a third firm, American Home Products Corp. of New York. Fearing intensified competition, American Home Products executed a hostile acquisition of American Cyanamid before the SmithKline deal could be finalized.
LOOKING AHEAD: Despite current industry difficulties, researchers may take solace in the fact that the future still looks strong in biotechnology, says BIO president Carl B. Feldbaum.