Grifols trims U.S. operations
In response to a challenging 2023, the Spanish pharma company specializing in blood plasma therapies, announced a significant restructuring effort in 2023. Its plan to cut approximately 2,300 positions amounts to about 8.5% of its global workforce. The company hopes the initiative will yield an annual cost-saving target of around €400 million euros ($427 million). The company’s plasma business operations in the U.S. were hardest hit by the cuts. Some 2,000 workers in the country were let go.
Takeda braces for competitive threats with cuts
Takeda announced layoffs starting in the summer of 2023, with a reported 186 employees let go in Massachusetts across three cities: Cambridge, Lexington, and North Reading. The firm said the move was part of a response to a pipeline shake-up within the company. In a larger-scale layoff, Takeda announced on October 6 a cut of more than 1,400 jobs from its U.S. operations to prepare for generic competition to its diabetes blockbuster Actos.
Thermo Fisher Scientific adjusts to changing demands
The scientific instrumentation company navigated through a series of workforce cuts in 2023, which mainly affected its operations in San Diego, New Jersey, and Cache Valley in Utah. Catalysts behind the cuts included decreased demand for COVID-19 testing products and evolving economic conditions. The layoffs unfolded in several phases, including a series of cuts affecting 725 employees across California and New Jersey from November 2022 to August 2023, another round in San Diego cutting 218 jobs in April, followed by a further reduction of 154 positions in March in the same region. Additionally, around 90 employees were affected in Cache Valley in February. The cumulative layoffs from these instances amounted to 1,275 employees.
Genentech consolidates footprint
South Francisco–based Genentech has cut hundreds of employees in various rounds of downsizing as part of its restructuring efforts. The firm closed its first biologics facility at its South San Francisco headquarters over late summer to fall, eliminating 271 positions. As the year progressed, the firm announced more layoffs in a move away from a “national strategy” to a more localized operational approach. The strategic decisions reflect Genentech’s aim to reposition its commercial manufacturing operations across its broader global network while centralizing clinical supply production near its R&D hub in South San Francisco.
Biogen aims for “complete redesign”
In a cost-cutting overhaul aiming to save $1 billion following the fraught rollout of the Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab, Biogen has announced a string of layoffs, starting with the termination of around 1,000 employees. The company’s CEO, Christopher Viehbacher, described the decision as part of a “complete redesign of Biogen” in a call with analysts. About 11% of the company’s workers would be affected in the restructuring effort. Additionally, following the $7 billion acquisition of rare disease firm Reata, Biogen turned another 100 people at the company loose. The company’s financial health has deteriorated in recent years with its revenue sliding from $13.4 billion in 2020 to $10.173 billion two years later.
Catalent also downsizes to adjust to waning pandemic demand
The global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) saw its services in high demand in the early days of the pandemic, but more recently has experienced several rounds of layoffs and operational reorganizations. In 2023, the company cut 150 positions in its Bloomington operations as part of an organizational overhaul. Leadership and support positions were especially affected. The moves were part Catalent’s broader strategy to adjust to the post-pandemic environment as the demand for vaccines and related services fell. Additionally, Catalent has experienced productivity problems and increased costs at some of its facilities, driving a reduction in its sales expectations for the year.
Amgen reshapes workforce
Thousand Oaks, California–headquartered Amgen has also announced a comprehensive restructuring process, initially resulting in the termination of about 300 jobs. Later the company announced another round of layoffs affecting 450 additional jobs. Overall, Amgen said it would cut more than 3% of its entire workforce before the first half of 2023.
Novavax struggles to turn a profit
In 2023, the vaccine producer, turned to significant workforce reductions to cut operational and research costs. The company planned a 20% to 25% reduction in its R&D and SG&A expenses, which translated to terminating a quarter of its workforce. This restructuring was a response to weak COVID-19 vaccine demand. Despite these cuts, Novavax forecasted higher-than-expected revenue for 2023, indicating a strategic shift to manage expenses while striving to maintain revenue growth.
Emergent downsizes to deal with financial struggles
Similar to Novavax, Emergent Biosolutions had high hopes for capitalizing on the pandemic through vaccine development, but struggled to make that dream a reality. To deal with the financial blow, the company announced various rounds of layoffs, including cutting about 400 jobs and cutting 5% of its workforce. The company also announced a bid to pivot toward focusing on core products and streamlining its contract development and manufacturing activities.
BMS trims employee roster to deal with disappointing earnings
In 2023, Bristol Myers Squibb experienced a significant downturn in financial performance owing to increased competition and disappointing earnings results, especially in the second quarter of the year. Factors contributing to its financial malaise include the entry of generic competition for some of its major drugs like Revlimid and Eliquis. Sales were also down for the blood cancer drug, Pomalyst. This situation led to a revision of its 2023 revenue forecast from a 2% increase to a low-single-digit percentage fall. Furthermore, sales revenue in Q2 2023 fell to $11.23 billion from $11.89 billion the previous year, with the sales of Revlimid, Eliquis, and Opdivo missing analyst expectations. To deal with the financial setbacks, the company has let go of more than 100 workers in various locations, including San Diego and Princeton, with additional job cuts happening at three sites on the West Coast.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery and Development