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Roche to cut 4,800 jobs in global restructuring plan

Thursday, December 2, 2010

After absorbing Genentech, Swiss pharma giant Roche has announced its cost-cutting plans, much of which will take place in manufacturing and sales. But there will also be some significant trimming in R&D.

Roche said it will end RNA interference research in Kulmbach, Germany, Nutley, N.J., and Madison, W.I. In the product development group, Roche said only that “certain product development activities are expected to be discontinued or transferred—most of them from the U.S.—to other Roche sites or third parties to improve overall productivity. Roughly 800 positions will be affected by the planned reductions or transfers.”

Roche will cut about 4,800 workers overall or about 6% of the Groups current workforce of approximately 82,000 employees, with a couple thousand more facing transfers to new locations. About 600 jobs will be cut or transferred in R&D with 640 more at stake in the company’s growing diagnostics division. Company officials said the restructuring—originally announced in September—will take two years to complete. CEO Severin Schwan said Roche is taking measures to increase productivity in R&D, and would continue to look for small and medium-sized acquisitions to add to the 90 compounds in its pipeline.

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