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Biogen to cut 650 jobs

Biogen Idec has announced plans to lay off 13 per cent of its workforce as part of a restructuring and cost-cutting programme

Biotechnology firm Biogen Idec has announced it will lay off 13 per cent of its workforce, or 650 employees, as part of a restructuring and cost-cutting programme.

The move will see Biogen exit 11 of its existing programmes and close US facilities in Waltham, Wellesley and San Diego. The company, which will have 4,275 employees after the cuts, plans to focus on neurology and leverage its strengths in select biotechnology-based therapies, cutting back on efforts in cardiovascular medicine and cancer treatment.

It is expected that the restructuring will result in post-annual savings of approximately $300m, which will lead to charges of about $11m, including about $70m in the fourth quarter.

The restructuring plan comes just weeks after the company reported a 8.5 per cent drop in third-quarter profit because of higher costs and expenses. Sales of Tysabri rose 9 per cent to $307m, however, revenue from Rituxan fell 9 per cent to $258m.

Biogen will also eliminate its current sales force for Rituxan, with Roche's Genentech assuming responsibility for the drug's US sales and marketing.

3rd November 2010

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