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AstraZeneca restructure hits MedImmune’s US operations

Vaccine research will halt at two of the company’s California facilities

MedImmune US HQ

AstraZeneca's global biologics unit MedImmune is to close two California research facilities as part of its commitment to its parent company's restructuring programme.

In February AstraZeneca (AZ) outlined a major efficiency drive that will see more than 7,000 jobs cut across most areas of its business, including research.

The axe fell first on AZ's neuroscience operations, where research work was halted at two sites in favour a new 'virtual' neuroscience Innovative Medicines (iMed) unit, staffed by a team of 40-50 company scientists.

The latest cuts will see MedImmune's US sites in Mountain View and Santa Clara closed, with the loss of around 200 jobs, while a further 100 are expected to move to another of the company's sites.

One of these is in Hayward, California, which not only escaped the axe but will have “additional capabilities invested in,” MedImmune said.

“MedImmune is committed to infectious diseases and vaccines research and development and believes that these changes will enhance innovation across its therapeutic areas and improve alignment with other areas of product development while reducing the fixed costs associated with the sites,” the company said in a statement.

AstraZeneca bought MedImmune five years ago for $15.6bn as part of its entrance into biologics and subsequently augmented the unit with its Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) biotech business.

MedImmune, whose Maryland headquarters are pictured above, said its expects to complete the changes to its operations in 2014 in order to “allow for a seamless transition of ongoing activies.”

19th July 2012

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