A global reorganization of drug maker AstraZeneca’s global research and development operations will eliminate 650 U.S. jobs, with 1,200 positions cut at its U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, DE, and hundreds of others shifted to facilities in Maryland and Massachusetts.
The consolidation of the company’s global R&D footprint over the next two years will cut a total of 1,600 jobs in the U.S., Great Britain and Sweden, about 3% of its global workforce.
With patents expiring for several of its key drugs, AstraZeneca's revenues have dipped in recent years. The company said Monday's moved will "improve pipeline productivity and establish the company as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation."
With the exit of the Global Medicines Development group and the relocation of global marketing and U.S. specialty care commercial operation, about 1,200 positions will leave Wilmington.
AstraZeneca will shift U.S.-based global marketing and specialty care functions totaling 300 positions to an R&D site in Gaithersburg, MD, currently the site of MedImmune’s headquarters and the main location for AstraZeneca’s biologics activities. Another 80 positions will move to its center in Waltham, MA.
Another 170 U.S positions will relocate to other AstraZeneca sites in the United States. or overseas, the company said.
AstraZeneca occupies over 1.2 million square feet of office and industrial space
in Delaware in the greater Philadelphia market, including about 900,000 square feet at its campus on Concord Pike in Wilmington, which will continue to house the North American commercial headquarters along with some support functions, the company said.
The changes announced today will lead to an estimated overall reduction of about 650 positions in the US, while around 170 will relocate to other AstraZeneca sites in the US or overseas.
"I recognize that our plans will have a significant impact on many of our people and our stakeholders at the affected sites. We are fully committed to treating all our employees with respect and fairness as we navigate this important period of change," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said.
The changes are part of AstraZeneca’s announcement to invest in its R&D centers in Cambridge, UK; Gaithersburg, MD.; and Mölndal, Sweden, in order to co-locate teams to improve collaboration and simplify the company’s global property footprint, AstraZeneca said.