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BMS restructures US R&D operations

Unveils site closures and build plans as firm focuses pipeline around three US hubs

BMSBristol-Myers Squibb has unveiled some of the elements in its promised restructuring, closing some sites and building a new R&D facility in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

BMS' US research operations are set for some wide-ranging changes, with activities in future to be focused around three hubs in central New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge, Massachusetts - and backed up with an increase in R&D spend.

The company has said it will shut down a site in Hopewell, New Jersey, by mid-2020 and does not intend to renew the lease at its Lake Union Steam Plant facility in Seattle, Washington - a site acquired along with ZymoGenetics in 2010 - when it comes up in 2019. BMS previously announced the planned closure of a site in Wallingford, Connecticut, by the end of 2018.

The company is not giving details of any job losses just yet, but said it expects that "many of the roles from Wallingford, Hopewell and Seattle will transition to other US locations". It also said it had abandoned earlier plans to build a development unit in Connecticut.

BMS has previously announced that it intends to develop a research facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whilst expanding its Redwood City research campus in the San Francisco Bay Area and recently-opened Princeton Pike facility in Lawrenceville.

The new Lawrenceville unit will host drug discovery and translational medicine activities, and another new facility in New Brunswick, New Jersey will support biologics development. Meanwhile, its recently-completed $280m biologics campus in Devens, Massachusetts, is also heading for an upgrade.

The company's chief executive Giovanni Caforio said in October the company needs to make changes in order to "focus our resources on our highest priorities, both from an R&D perspective as well as commercially". Part of the intention is to inject "speed, adaptability, and flexibility" into BMS' R&D operations.

The announcement was made shortly after BMS suffered a major blow from the failure of its fast-growing checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo to show activity in a first-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) trial, although Caforio insisted the restructuring was unrelated to that setback.

Article by
Phil Taylor

14th December 2016

From: Sales

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