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: Twitter: Dereklowe

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January 31, 2012

AstraZeneca Cutting Even More?

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Posted by Derek

OK, this is one of those less-than-cheerful mornings on the blog, apparently. Word is in the British press that AstraZeneca is preparing to announce thousands more job cuts later this week. No more concrete details yet - all the company has said is that "clear focus on cash and value creation will continue", and isn't that just about the most encouraging thing you've ever heard? More as this develops.

Comments (19) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


1. petros on January 31, 2012 11:05 AM writes...

Probably no details until Thursday,

Haven't they cut R&D enough recently? Wilmington, Charnwood, Lund etc

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2. Just sayin' on January 31, 2012 11:18 AM writes...

Does A-Z even have Basic R&D workers left to lay off?

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3. Anonymous on January 31, 2012 11:50 AM writes...

That quote should really read "clear focus on cash and short-term value creation". I doubt AZ will even exist in 5 years time. Sad

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4. RB Woodweird on January 31, 2012 12:55 PM writes...

"Does A-Z even have Basic R&D workers left to lay off?"

I'm promoting you from janitor to R&D chemist.
Uh... what?
And you're sacked.

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5. Bob on January 31, 2012 1:33 PM writes...

Using the word 'cuts' is really getting old.

It's transferring the jobs to China or some other Foxconn like hell hole.

It's the reason the ACS unemployment stats are pegged at 3.2% (aside from the fact that over half their members are graduate students and faculty.)

It's well known that even Chinese or European citizens can become American Chemical Society members.

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6. Hap on January 31, 2012 1:52 PM writes...

How does AZ intend to create value, exactly? I'm not sure the shareholders would consider subsidies to housekeepers and Rolls-Royce repairers made possible by management's self-generosity, or their generous donation of jobs and technology to Asia as the kind of value creation they were looking for.

Maybe it's on the same order as regulatory inhibition through legislation creating new jobs in the health care and mortuary fields. Hooray for the job creators!

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7. Anonymous on January 31, 2012 1:56 PM writes...

safety assessment

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8. pi* on January 31, 2012 3:00 PM writes...

layoffs at Genzyme today

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9. Petros on January 31, 2012 3:51 PM writes...

It's the application of lean seven Sigma!

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10. Rusty on January 31, 2012 6:23 PM writes...

Soooo tired of the ACS. They call me every week and ask me "why I haven't renewed since my company will pay my dues?" They do nothing for us and are a bunch of folks who couldn't hack it on the outside who want to keep the gravy train rolling. I know...they have good journals...blah, blah, blah. Guess what? My company pays for those subscriptions and if you fold the articles (if there's any of us left) will go somewhere. Keep your stupid mugs.

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11. Ty on February 1, 2012 3:57 PM writes...

Genzyme did do layoffs yesterday. They have (HAD) a bigger-than-you-would expect medicinal chemistry department in Massachusetts.

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12. R B Woodward on February 1, 2012 4:34 PM writes...

I have very good information from a confirmed source that the R&D site in Montreal is closing. As they are in the CNS-Pain area, this will have consequences for the rest of AstraZeneca. More information will follow tomorrow.

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13. Anonymous on February 1, 2012 9:17 PM writes...

It's confirmed, az montreal closes in may. Sad. In sweden, people are still sleeping, not knowing about this, but cns in sweden will close as well.

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14. Anonymous on February 2, 2012 1:00 AM writes...

I thought the med chem dept. was small in comparison to the bridgewater site. Can you elaborate or provide numbers?

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15. B on February 2, 2012 2:39 AM writes...

I've just heard that they're cutting 7300 jobs. Very sad news.

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16. Anonymous on February 3, 2012 8:52 AM writes...


They had ~35 medicinal and process chemists. Now there are less than 10 left.

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17. Anonymous on February 5, 2012 10:39 PM writes...

Thanks for your reply. I also heard that only 5 med chemists from Bridgewater will transfer to Boston. So, their chem dept. will be 15 or less???? Are you kidding me? Looks like they are getting ready to outsource chem. BIG TIME. Looks a lot like your neighbor Biogen Idec...another company with the clock ticking on small molecule drug discovery.

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18. Anonymous on February 6, 2012 10:22 PM writes...

The number of transfers from Bridgewater has not been announced. If it is only 5, department will be ~25 (Cambridge chemists included).

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19. Anonymous on February 7, 2012 12:34 AM writes...

@18: So, what you're saying is process took the biggest hit in the layoffs? I got the #5 transfers from another post on this blog, which may or may not be true. I have some friends and former colleagues over at the bridgewater site, however I don't want to make the call out of respect for their privacy....

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