R&D, Restructuring

Bayer to cut internal drug R&D work, axing hundreds of researchers while looking to partners as it unveils plan to slash 12,000 jobs

Bayer is pushing ahead with plans to restructure its drug R&D business and cut 900 research staffers as part of a broad plan to slash a total of 12,000 employees in a worldwide revamp.

Details on the changes in R&D — something that’s been rumored to be in the works for months — are slim, with no word about which projects are threatened. Their statement notes 900 jobs are being cut in pharma R&D with another 350 jobs slashed at a German factor VIII production plant. The emphasis now will shift in drug R&D, reducing in-house work while looking to external partners to carry more of the load.

In their statement the German pharma company says that their R&D “measures include accelerated development of the innovation model and a restructuring of internal R&D activities. Resources freed up through the reduction of internal capacities are to be directed toward strengthening investment in collaborative research models and external innovations.”

Bayer also plans to sell off consumer products and exit the animal health business following its acquisition of Monsanto — which faces its own internal cuts as a blizzard of lawsuits besiege the new owners.

With Roche shaking up the hemophilia market with its new drug Hemlibra, Bayer says that it will shutter “the factor VIII facility it has built in Wuppertal, Germany, and … focus all recombinant factor VIII production in Berkeley,” CA.

Rumors about a big shakeup in R&D have been circulating through much of 2018. Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche got it started at the end of May, reporting that the prospective cuts could reach up to 1,000 in the reorganization. Reuters then reported that job cuts and outsourcing were on the table as the German drug company looks to raise more cash to in-license new therapies for its pipeline.


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