AstraZeneca Plans Job Cuts at Swedish Production Facility and Invests in Process R&D

March 1, 2007
Patricia Van Arnum
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

London (Feb. 22)-AstraZeneca unveiled further details of its plan to reduce staff at certain production facilities and announced a $120-million investment in a new process research and development (PR&D) facility in the United Kingdom.

London (Feb. 22)-AstraZeneca (www.astrazeneca.com) unveiled further details of its plan to reduce staff at certain production facilities and announced a $120-million investment in a new process research and development (PR&D) facility in the United Kingdom.

AstraZeneca plans to cut 850 jobs at its production site in Södertälje, Sweden as part of the company's previously announced plans to reduce its global headcount by 3000. Södertälje is the largest production site for AstraZeneca, with roughly 4500 currently employed in the production facility there. Södertälje also is the site of the company's research and development headquarters.

The 850 jobs to be cut are in production, and the cuts are scheduled to take place during 2008 and 2009 and are in addition to the previously announced reduction of 450 jobs in the Swedish manufacturing site, which are scheduled to take place in 2007.

The reduction in force in its Swedish production facilities follows an announcement earlier in February that the company plans to cut 700 jobs, more than a quarter of the workforce, at its plant in Macclesfield, Cheshire, United Kingdom. The plant employs a total of 2500 workers. The job cuts will be phased over the next three years.

Investments in process R&D

As it cuts back in production, AstraZeneca plans to invest $120 million in a PR&D laboratory at its Macclesfield site. PR&D discovers and develops the manufacturing routes for active ingredients. This facility will house multidisciplinary teams of scientists and specialists involved in chemistry, analytical, process engineering, and project management. The building will accommodate around 170 people, most of whom are already employed by the company. The laboratory can accommodate a further 50 people within preplanned expansion areas.

Construction on the new facility will start now, with an aim to begin operations in mid 2009.