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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

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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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June 11, 2012

Sunovion Layoffs?

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Posted by Derek

Unfortunately, I'm hearing talk of a big layoff at Sunovion (neé Sepracor). Anyone have any details? Their business has been in developing trouble for some time now. . .

Comments (9) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


1. DannoH on June 11, 2012 7:56 AM writes...

It seems that a name change from the original company name to a new "branded" name is an indicator that things may not be going very well.

CFO: "Things are not going very well. We may not make the numbers next year."
CEO: "Lets hire a branding consultant!"

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2. Talia on June 11, 2012 9:42 AM writes...

Sunovion? The company should go out of business simply for spending money to choose that as its name!

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3. alig on June 11, 2012 10:21 AM writes...

It changed it's name as part of the acquisiton by Dainippon Sumitomo.

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4. anon on June 11, 2012 11:00 AM writes...

Almost all chemistry research is outsourced at this point, I believe.

It would seem more likely to be a huge sales rep and management purging.

At least I hope the remaining chemists, who mostly manage the remote synthesis of compounds, are OK.

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5. anonymous on June 11, 2012 4:21 PM writes...

I think the VP of Med Chem won ACS quote of the year in 2011.

"We consider synthetic chemistry to be very outsourceable. Frankly, we don’t do any of it in-house anymore.”

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6. anon on June 11, 2012 5:03 PM writes...

Ouch, Kerry said that?

I understand outsourcing. But trends show that it's getting more and more expensive, so while it used to be 10 Chinese or Indian chemistry FTE's obtained for the price of one stateside, then it became 8, then 6, then 4, then 3. Now it must be close to 2, if not below.

At some point the inefficiency overwhelms the cost savings, right? Then what? Outsource to a still cheaper country? Ethiopia?

Personally I have always had a great deal higher comfort level with the identity and purity of the stuff in the bottle if I know who put it there, even though it happened to be put there more expensively. I guess you CAN know your CROs, to an extent, but it just never seems the same to me.


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7. jackgg on June 12, 2012 12:15 AM writes...

:)@4, good term, remote synthesis of compounds!

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8. toxchick on June 12, 2012 8:14 AM writes...

Yes, there were more layoffs there last week, I believe. Not sure of the numbers, but I think it was more than just a few.

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9. Sili on June 14, 2012 4:47 PM writes...

(neé Sepracor)

Or "né" if the company is male.

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