Monday, March 7, 2022

STAT: Biogen to lay off ~10% of employees

Via Stat last Wednesday, this news about Biogen (article by Adam Feuerstein  and Damian Garde): 
Biogen’s largest-ever corporate restructuring began Wednesday, as employees around the world got word they would be laid off by the struggling biotech company, STAT has learned.

A Biogen spokesperson confirmed the layoffs but would not provide an exact number of affected employees. People close to Biogen have said the company will cut about 1,000 jobs — more than 10% of its workforce — through layoffs, voluntary resignations, and the elimination of open positions. Biogen has said it hopes to save about $500 million a year in the process.

The cuts “will help the company remain flexible so additional investments can be made in our pipeline and other strategic initiatives,” Biogen said in a statement. “We appreciate the contributions of our departing colleagues, who will be eligible for severance and support services as they transition out of the company.”

According to people familiar with the process, the layoffs primarily target the salespeople and operations related to selling Aduhelm, Biogen’s commercially disappointing treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and Spinraza, a successful medicine for spinal muscular atrophy for which demand has largely plateaued.

I don't think it's particularly surprising that Biogen has had financial difficulties regarding Aduhelm, and that they're reacting by laying people off in order to save money. But the broader pharma industry has been hiring like mad, and I would say the upswing has been since ~2015 or so. I think this particular layoff is "isolated", as they say, but as someone who has called 12 of the last 1 recessions, I'd can't help but wonder...

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20