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Shire mulls UK job cuts

Enters “employee consultation process” for research site in Basingstoke
Shire Basingstoke

Dozens more pharma jobs are at risk in the UK after Shire announced it has entered an “employee consultation process” for its research site in Basingstoke.

Shire said it was part of a plan to restructure its global business by simplifying its structure to focus on rare diseases.

According the Financial Times, the board has discussed substantial cuts to the 170-strong research workforce at the site, which employs a total staff of 500.

The news is the second major blow for the UK research industry in a week, after Novartis said it was contemplating the future of its research site in Horsham, potentially impacting 371 jobs and 170 local contractors.

Other recent downsizing efforts include AstraZeneca's decision to close its environmental laboratory at Brixham in Devon, affecting 71 employees.

Phil Vickers, head of R&D at Shire, said: "We understand this is a very difficult situation for those employees potentially affected by the proposed changes in Basingstoke, and we are fully committed to supporting them during this consultation process.

“We firmly believe, however, that these steps are vital to Shire remaining a high growth business that continues to develop products that serve unmet patient need.”

The cutback comes as Shire looks to restructure its pipeline to focus on its more profitable ventures, namely its programmes covering rare diseases - an area of increasing importance for the industry.

As a result, the company is looking to discontinue programmes that fall outside this area, which include activities in Basingstoke.

Shire is alsoconsidering the relocation of its Swiss operations from its current base of Eysins to Zug and a consultation process is now ongoing with 100 or so employees at Eysins.

Article by
Thomas Meek

8th November 2013

From: Research



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