Bayer Healthcare is cutting 1,400 research and development jobs, as the company integrates workers from recently acquired pharma business, Schering.
The move comes in the same week as Abbott Laboratories announced it would cut around 200 drug research jobs part of its recently completed restructure of the business, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
The moves are two more examples of pharma firms refocusing research in the face of growing challenges for the industry, in terms of patent expirations leading to increased generic competition and declining research productivity.
Several pharma firms have also recently announced restructuring programmes, including Roche, AstraZeneca and Pfizer. The latter two are also in the process of cutting jobs.
"We want to create an internationally successful pharmaceutical company with competitive cost structures," said Werner Wenning, chairman of the supervisory board of Bayer Schering Pharma.
"We said right from the start of the integration that job cuts would be necessary in order to achieve the synergy targets. These essential streamlining measures are to be fairly implemented in a socially acceptable process - balanced across the globe.
"This includes the reduction of the number of locations, cutting down on structural and personnel overcapacity, the concentration of research and development activities as well as the harmonization of structures and processes in marketing and administration."
A spokesperson for Bayer told DrugResearcher.com that the combined Bayer, Schering pipeline was also being examined as part of the integration process, but declined to comment which projects might be dropped, if any.
Abbott now focuses its research activites in a limited number of therapeutic areas: immunology; oncology; anti-infectives and virology; neuroscience and pain; and metabolic research. However, it is the last of these research areas that is impacted by the job losses, such as with early research into obestity and diabetes treatments.
Abbott employs around 65,000 workers, of which 7,000 are scientists. The Tribune also reported that the US pharma firm would cut duplicated sales jobs caused by its recent acquisition of Kos Pharmaceuticals. The company inherited 1,400 workers from Kos, but didn't reveal whether the sales job losses were predominantly workers previously employed there.