Biogen axing 11% of workforce in plan to save $250m annually

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Biogen axing 11% of workforce in plan to save $250m annually

Related tags: Research triangle park

Biogen will cut around 530 US jobs as part of a restructuring plan it hopes will save $250m (€221m) in operating costs annually.

The restructuring plan was revealed yesterday as part of the pharma firm’s third quarter 2015 financial report. Along with the termination of a number of pipeline programmes, Biogen will reduce cut its global workforce by 11% in order to save up to $250m per year in operating costs.

Company spokesman Michael Lampe told Biogen’s most recent headcount totalled around 8,000, and so approximately 880 jobs are set to go.

“Of the total positions affected, approximately 400 are from Massachusetts, approximately 130 are from Research Triangle Park [RTP], North Carolina, and the rest are outside the US,”​ he told us.

He said the cuts would be mostly in marketing, programme management, and analytical and operational support, due to “the consolidation and elimination of certain overlapping groups across the organisation,” ​but did confirm some manufacturing jobs would be at risk.

Biogen is “re-sizing portions of the company where we felt there was excess capacity, including manufacturing and ex US commercial operations,”​ he said, but added there are no plans to close any plants or sites.

Biogen’s Massachusetts operations include a 67,000 sq ft biologics manufacturing facility as part of a larger site in Cambridge that houses R&D and quality testing laboratories, according to the firm’s annual report​. In North Carolina, the firm has two commercial biologics facilities and a large-scale purification plant.

Internationally, there is a 228,000 sq ft biomanufacturing plant in Hillerød, Denmark.

According to CFO Paul Clancy, the firm will incur a charge of between $85-95m for the restructure and the majority of the staff cuts will be done by the end of 2015.

For the quarter, Biogen reported sales of $2.8bn, up 11% year-on-year. The bottom line also grew to $966m, up 13% on the same period 2014.

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