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Eisai to make 200 cuts to US operations

Japanese firm says the restructure will help it stay competitive

Eisai HQ 

Eisai has announced plans to shed 200 works from across its US sites as it looks to shake up operations in the country.

The firm said in a statement that it plans to “realign its operations” in the US by reducing its workforce by around a quarter across various US functions - which works out at around 200 employees.

Eisai says this will help it “create a more efficient and focused organisation”.

Yuji Matsue, chairman and CEO of Eisai, explained: “The actions we are taking will ensure Eisai stays competitive in a rapidly changing business environment. 

“Eisai remains fully committed to the US market and will continue to serve the needs of patients and their families by developing and marketing important new treatments that help to satisfy unmet medical needs.

“Through this realignment, we will be able to redeploy our resources to support the development of our priority late-stage compounds and our current product portfolio.”

The new structure is expected to be in place by May 1, 2015, according to the firm.

Eisai's US operations include R&D, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and administrative functions. The company does not have plans to close any of its main offices or facilities, it said.

Shaji Procida, president and COO of Eisai, said: “This decision was difficult. We are grateful to our colleagues, each of whom has played an important role in helping us fulfill our human health care (hhc) mission of bringing important new medicines to patients. 

“We are aware of the impact that our reorganisation will have on some employees and will work with them to ensure that their transition is as smooth as possible.”

This follows upon good news from Europe last month when its new thyroid cancer drug Lenvima, which is set to be a blockbuster, was recommended for use by the European Medicines Agency. 

But the firm has had more problems with its new weight loss drug Belviq. The drug was approved in 2012 and activates the 5-HT2C receptor in the brain and increases feelings of satiety when consuming food, was the first new obesity drug to be licensed in 13 years.

However, it has quickly faced new competition as two other obesity drugs -Takeda's Contrave and Vivus' Qsymia - came to the market not long award Belviq. All of these drugs have also faced difficult regulatory paths with various safety concerns over their use, notably on the heart.

Article by
Ben Adams

13th April 2015

From: Sales

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