Sanofi axes 1700 jobs

October 15, 2010
Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Restructuring at sanofi-aventis will result in the elimination of approximately 1700 jobs in the US — about 25% of the company?s US Pharmaceutical Operations division workforce.

Restructuring at sanofi-aventis will result in the elimination of approximately 1700 jobs in the US — about 25% of the company’s US Pharmaceutical Operations division workforce. The company employs 13000 people in the US; more than half of which are based in the Pharmaceutical Operations division.

According to a press statement, the cuts and restructuring will “position the company for growth following the impact of patent expiries, increase business development and other innovative partnerships, and ensure investment in late lifecycle products”. Going forward, the focus of the division will be on diabetes, atrial fibrillation and oncology.

The positions to be axed will be finalised by mid-December. According to an interview with a company spokesperson, conducted by Bloomberg, however, the cuts will come from sales (1400 positions) and company offices in New Jersey (300). The spokesperson also reportedly added that the cuts are part of the 2 billion euro cost-reduction plan announced by the company in July 2009.

“Given the serious challenges facing our organization and the healthcare industry, it is important to act decisively now so that our organization has greater stability moving forward and that our resources are allocated to our strategic growth priorities,” Gregory Irace, President and CEO of sanofi-aventis US/Canada Pharmaceutical Operations, said in a press statement. “This step in our transformation strategy will expedite decision-making, reduce business complexities and increase innovation, ensuring we rapidly respond to patient and customer needs.”

The news about the layoffs comes as sanofi attempts a hostile takeover of Genzyme (sanofi-aventis Attempts Hostile Takeover of Genzyme), which would provide sanofi with a pipeline of drugs for rare genetic disorders. According to an analyst from UBS in London (UK), who reportedly spoke to Bloomberg, however, the layoffs are not connected to the potential acquisition.