Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Industrial Research: More Grounded in Reality, or Not? | Main | Real Electrons »

September 15, 2009

Lilly Shrinks

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

The latest re-org announcement is from Eli Lilly. The company is getting braced for the Zyprexa patent expiration (and the possibility that Prasugrel and others won't be able to make up for as much lost revenue as they thought). Their target is a 14% head count reduction by the end of 2011.

For everyone's sake there, if they're really going to do that, I hope they do it quickly. Having that sort of thing hanging around over everyone's head is, to put it mildly, not good for anyone's quality of life (whether they're being let go or not). I haven't heard how these cuts will be distributed (across research, sales, administrative, etc.), but I suspect that details will start leaking out soon. . .

Comments (14) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


COMMENTS

1. anchor on September 15, 2009 10:43 AM writes...

Derek :

I agree with you that Lilly should execute this process quickly. As an ex-Merck employee I can vouch that they did lot of damage to the psyche of those people who survived the first cut. It is terrible. What is even more worse is all the good work you do at that point has little or no consequence.

Permalink to Comment

2. Lucifer on September 15, 2009 12:12 PM writes...

First Detailed Photos of Atoms (Orbitals)

http://insidescience.org/research/first_detailed_photos_of_atoms

Sep 14, 2009

By Mike Lucibella & Lauren Schenkman

WASHINGTON -- For the first time, physicists have photographed the structure of an atom down to its electrons. The pictures, soon to be published in the journal Physical Review B, show the detailed images of a single carbon atom's electron cloud, taken by Ukrainian researchers at the Kharkov Institute for Physics and Technology in Kharkov, Ukraine. This is the first time scientists have been able to see an atom's internal structure directly. Since the early 1980s, researchers have been able to map out a material's atomic structure in a mathematical sense, using imaging techniques.

Permalink to Comment

3. already_pfizered on September 15, 2009 1:21 PM writes...

I was just waiting for such type of news. Supposedly there will be more of such news soon when the Wyeth/Pfizer thing is gonna happen. Anybody heard something? Jeff is alarmingly quiet at the moment....

Permalink to Comment

4. RB Woodweird on September 15, 2009 1:23 PM writes...

Next up, the Ukranian researchers hope to use their technology to take the first pictures of the heart of a Lilly vice-president, though they admit that goal may push the limits of their technology.

Permalink to Comment

5. molecular architect on September 15, 2009 2:01 PM writes...

#4 Yes, imaging a Pharma exec's heart will push the limits of this technology. Obviously, trying to take pictures of an exec's brain is hopeless!

Permalink to Comment

6. anon on September 15, 2009 2:12 PM writes...

While they're cutting, I can think of a VP and a couple of directors that, if cut, would give them a real bang for their severance buck.

Permalink to Comment

7. Former Merck Employee on September 15, 2009 2:40 PM writes...

Dear all,
I am a former Merck employee (from their Italian site, which by the way developed Isentress! and as a thank you is going to be closed very soon) and have been an avid reader of this very interesting web site.
I would really like to know, what the readership (and Derek) think about the viability of the business model of the pharmaceutical industry.
A while back I was reading a piece in the Economist (I must apologise that I can substantiate this with a link), that a future model for the pharmaceutical industry could well be that the big guns will just do the marketing and only buy their portfolio of drugs as needed - and ladies and gentlemen lo and behold, I suggest everybody look around and start thinking.

Permalink to Comment

8. Lucifer on September 15, 2009 3:46 PM writes...

So is Lilly giving a free lifetime supply of Zyprexa and Cymbalta to it's soon to pfired employees?

Permalink to Comment

9. Anonymous on September 15, 2009 8:36 PM writes...

I am sure there are lots of folks at Lilly who havent done much in the last 20 years. 14% sounds like they are just using this as an opportunity to thin the brush. No one will miss the 14% who will be gone - if anything - the rest will become more productive. I bet there are lot more people who could have been let go without any drop in productivity.

Permalink to Comment

10. rasta_layoff on September 15, 2009 11:06 PM writes...

9 - who says that the right people get the boot? In my fairly broad experience the larger proportion of laid off people is comprised of hard-working folks who just happen to be working on the politically weak projects, or have not brown-nosed enough to ensure survival.

6 - dream on. There are two kinds of chances of this sort of thing happening: the fat and the slim.

7 - yes, kind of. Except someone has to fund the whole discovery process. It could be the Chinese, ultimately - their government is spending serious money on research already and is likely to spend more. How's your Mandarin?

Permalink to Comment

11. processchemist on September 16, 2009 1:45 AM writes...

@7
The IRBM shutdown is a clear evidence that productivity has no relevance, when the axe falls.
Good luck to all of you, guys.
Andrew Witty, I think, declared about future GSK policy: "diversify and deriskify". So probably big pharma will not fund so much the discovery process from the ground up. Probably the biotech model will get even more space. In the meantime, I fear that my particular flavour of chemistry will become a kind of lost art.

Permalink to Comment

12. soon to be merck employee!? on September 16, 2009 2:32 PM writes...

A couple of questions for Mr former merck employee. As an SP employee we have been told about the Merck policy to exit sites instead of closing sites, can you comment on your experience of this policy. Also can you comment on what drives the closure of your site because by the sounds of things it was not a lack of productivity. Is it part of some great research masterplan? Finally, it may be rude to ask but I take it Merck were generous with the redundancy?

Permalink to Comment

13. CMCguy on September 16, 2009 3:20 PM writes...

I totally agree with #10 rasta_layoff's response to #9 Anon as in most downsizing often it is not the deadwood and excess branches that get cut away with typically less visible roots and trunks are excised. The remaining staff usually is proportionally much less productive as demoralization and overload of additional tasks sets in.

#11 process chemist I share concern as with more and more outsourcing to cheapest contract labs there is less connection to the before (discovery) and after (clinical and manufacturing) with result of vital experience is not established so more waste and poor decisions.

#7 FME current Pharma Business Model Sucks because it has become ends to itself (profits) rather than a means to innovation/new drugs. As with my comment above if continue trend/desire to "biotech/small R&D only" with separate Marketing a great deal with get lost in terms of important integration (that can be admittedly poor at times) will only get worse if are totally split apart. Midsized but fully involved R&D to Commercial would be good organization IMO (and strong Exec Leadership if I am to dream) although the economics makes viability even more uncertain can do much.

Permalink to Comment

14. CMCguy on September 16, 2009 3:27 PM writes...

I totally agree with #10 rasta_layoff's response to #9 Anon as in most downsizing often it is not the deadwood and excess branches that get cut away with typically less visible roots and trunks are excised. The remaining staff usually is proportionally much less productive as demoralization and overload of additional tasks sets in.

#11 process chemist I share concern as with more and more outsourcing to cheapest contract labs there is less connection to the before (discovery) and after (clinical and manufacturing) with result of vital experience is not established so more waste and poor decisions.

#7 FME current Pharma Business Model Sucks because it has become ends to itself (profits) rather than a means to innovation/new drugs. As with my comment above if continue trend/desire to "biotech/small R&D only" with separate Marketing a great deal with get lost in terms of important integration (that can be admittedly poor at times) will only get worse if are totally split apart. Midsized but fully involved R&D to Commercial would be good organization IMO (and strong Exec Leadership if I am to dream) although the economics makes viability even more uncertain can do much.

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
How Not to Do It: NMR Magnets
Allergan Escapes Valeant
Vytorin Actually Works
Fatalities at DuPont
The New York TImes on Drug Discovery
How Are Things at Princeton?
Phage-Derived Catalysts
Our Most Snorted-At Papers This Month. . .