Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lilly/AMRI: the final frontier?

From Derek Lowe comes interesting news on Lilly and their synthetic chemist hiring efforts:
AMRI to recruit more than 40 full-time chemists to work at Lilly’s Indianapolis headquarters 
Albany, NY (November 7, 2011)   — AMRI (NASDAQ: AMRI) announced today that, as part of a new collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly and Company, it anticipates hiring more than 40 synthetic chemists by the third quarter of 2012 to support Lilly's drug discovery programs. The chemists will work onsite at Lilly's headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they will support the medicinal chemistry department. This collaboration will further accelerate Lilly's drug discovery efforts by maximizing real-time exchange of scientific information. AMRI expects to recruit the majority of the synthetic chemists who will be affiliated with this collaboration from Indiana and surrounding states. 
The term of the collaboration is six years, extendable by mutual agreement of both parties.
I had heard tell of this move, but I did not know that the Tattaglias (kidding, kidding!) Albany Molecular would be involved. It's certainly better-than-bad news for synthetic chemists in the Midwest -- if you're looking for work in Indiana or Illinois, it might certainly be a half-decent career path.

I've always found Lilly to make interesting choices; it seems like their big employment moves are much less telegraphed and it seems like they've spent the 2003-present years without announcing enormous mergers or enormous layoffs. There was, of course, the Covance deal (so we shouldn't really be surprised when that business model is applied to chemistry...)

In the long run, of course, this is really bad news for synthetic chemists and it's another sign that "sticky wages" aren't a problem for us. Best wishes to us all.

10 comments:

  1. I wonder what AMRI charges for this service?

    Pretty cowardly for LLY mgt to not cut employee salaries/benefits on their own: unless employees have contracts and are not at-will there is no reason this can't be done (and is effectively what LLY is doing, just in an impecunious manner). Even worse that they are wasting shareholder money to pay AMRI something they can do themselves. Failures at science, failures in management. Sadly CEO is chemistry PhD.

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  2. Back in 2000, the cost for similar contract medicinal chemistry was around $125K per FTE (I worked at Array on a Lilly project). Adjust accordingly for inflation and you'll probably be in the ball-park. Probably about half to a third of what a full employee costs Lilly per year, factoring in everything.

    Has any major pharmaceutical company cut salary and benefits of all its employees rather than laying specific areas off and outsourcing work to other markets? Why do you think that is?

    Lilly has been outsourcing Discovery and Development for years while shrinking its internal head-count. This is nothing new, other than being somewhat novel to be bringing the CRO scientists into their own labs. I'd imagine there will be some interesting conversations had during this time-period.

    At least these jobs are staying here in the states. Hell, half of those 40 people will probably ex-Lilly chemists laid off over the last couple of years.

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  3. You're Pfizered....
    "Has any major pharmaceutical company cut salary and benefits of all its employees rather than laying specific areas off and outsourcing work to other markets? Why do you think that is?"
    Well, my take is as a manger you are that smart. What makes sense to the rest, it goes missing on them.

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  4. You're Pfizered....
    "Has any major pharmaceutical company cut salary and benefits of all its employees rather than laying specific areas off and outsourcing work to other markets? Why do you think that is?"
    Well, my take is as a manger you are not that smart. What makes sense to the rest, it goes missing on them.

    November 9, 2011 12:02 PM

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  5. Pfizer has cut benefits for employees and retirees.

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  6. @Anon332: Do you guys still get a 401K?

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  7. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-42849429/how-pfizer-saved-millions-by-dumping-its-retirees-on-medicare/

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  8. (Not that the benefit cuts would be enough to spare employees from mass layoffs...)

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-42849477/pfizer-plans-16300-layoffs-amid-health-benefit-cuts-for-retirees/?tag=bnetdomain

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  9. Run!! Run!! Run Away!!!

    How long has the decline of pharma been going on now?: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/business/87/8711bus1.html

    Since about 2000 according to the ACS, they need to hurry and fill the rest of the graph, it will give many an unsettling feeling in their stomach. It may also save many live from being ruined.

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  10. Many companies have hit retirees hard, including mine. He'll of a lot easier than hitting your employees hard.

    Many big pharma companies have scaled back or eliminated pensions, so I guess my original statement wasn't 100% accurate. Healthcare has also continued to get more costly for lowered coverages.

    None of this, however, has stopped them all from layoffs and outsourcing.

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