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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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December 2, 2013

Eisai Cuts Back

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Posted by Derek

Getting the week off to a bad start is this news from Eisai. They're stopping small-molecule work at their site in Andover, and (like everyone else, it seems) chopping med-chem at their UK site as well. Worldwide, it looks like a loss of 130 positions.

Comments (16) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


1. Hap on December 2, 2013 10:18 AM writes...

Did Professor Kishi retire? (I assumed or heard that that was a significant reason for the site's existence.)

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2. The Aqueous Layer on December 2, 2013 10:45 AM writes...

I've never understood the decision to announce layoffs during the holiday season. I get the fiscal calendar part of it, but three weeks before Christmas?

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3. Hap on December 2, 2013 11:06 AM writes...

Well, if you spent money on presents, thinking you had a job, it would probably be worse for you if they announced layoffs in January than now, though if you celebrate Hanukkah, I guess you'd still be screwed.

There doesn't ever seem a good time to announce layoffs, especially when prospects for fired employees to find another job in their fields (or without losing significant pay) are so low.

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4. Wage_Slave on December 2, 2013 11:28 AM writes...

The timing is usually related to the tax year. If staff have a typical three month notice period, the redundancy costs can be paid out of this years profit - reducing the tax bill and leaving a 'clean' set of accounts for the following tax year.

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5. Anon on December 2, 2013 11:34 AM writes...

Cutoffs in Andover were announced several weeks ago, they just kept quiet.

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6. An Old chemist on December 2, 2013 11:56 AM writes...

@2: Japanese do not celebrate Christmas and the Japanese stock markets remain open on Christmas day. Japan instead celebrates Buddha's birthday, on full moon day in May, when their stock markets remain closed and presidential pardons are given, etc. That could explain as to why Eisai is laying off during auspicious Christmas season.

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7. Anonymous on December 2, 2013 12:22 PM writes...

Will the last med chemist please turn out the lights!

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8. Useless Molecule on December 2, 2013 1:12 PM writes...

The Japanese Yen has been beaten down to the floor by the economic policies of prime minister Shinzo Abe (policies known as "Abenomics"). Much cheaper to run research in Japan. Very wise decision in terms of financials.

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9. RB Woodweird on December 2, 2013 3:11 PM writes...

Hooray! I did not submit an application to this company!

(For several weeks, every resume went out to a local site which promptly laid chemists off.) Also, what the hell, Ariad? Quit advertising open positions.

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10. Anonymous on December 2, 2013 8:14 PM writes...

A quote from the end of the space race in 1971:

"In short, we propellant chemists have worked ourselves out of a job. The heroic age is over.
But it was great fun while it lasted."

Maybe we medicinal chemists should be making the same comment about the age of small molecule drug invention.

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11. laclass on December 2, 2013 8:25 PM writes...

med chem is dead in the west! learn mandarin

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12. Nick K on December 2, 2013 9:50 PM writes...

The whole profession of chemist is disappearing. Why then are our universities still producing PhD chemists?

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13. Anonymous on December 3, 2013 11:36 AM writes...

@12: Academic departments need as many skilled, cheap hands as possible to publish. It doesn't matter that there may be no good jobs waiting for the PhD candidate, no matter what the advisor says.

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14. BTDT on December 3, 2013 6:24 PM writes...

Very well stated @13. I am an academic who has chosen retirement over training students/PDs who can't find jobs.

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15. Anonymous on December 4, 2013 7:44 AM writes...

@14: you mean, you're a faculty member who actually CHOSE to RETIRE???!!!??????

You deserve some kind of honorarium for that. At least being the captain of the July 4th parade.

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16. Nick K on December 8, 2013 5:14 AM writes...

#13: So true. The interests of academics are completely antithetical to those of their grad students and postdocs.

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