R&D, Restructuring, Workforce

Nestle plans to ax hundreds of R&D staffers, shutter big dermatology campus

Galderma’s Sophia Antipolis R&D center


Three years after Nestle paid $3.6 billion to acquire full control of Galderma, they’re taking an ax to one of its big drug R&D campuses.

Billed as the largest R&D campus devoted to dermatology, the company is planning to cut up to 450 of 550 research positions at Galderma’s Sophia Antipolis R&D center near Nice as the company transitions to a new R&D model that relies on more development partnerships.

A company spokesperson tells me:

To this date, most of the R&D projects in prescription dermatology in Sophia Antipolis are related to topical treatments. We are anticipating a significant decrease of the number of these projects. Our intention is to free up resources to support new initiatives in line with our strategy. We also intend to intensify our external partnerships.

Galderma will create a new R&D center closer to the new technologies it’s interested in, though no location has been determined. That’s likely to fit in with a decade-long trend of shuttering operations off the beaten path and moving into industry hubs. The move also comes just ahead of Nestle CEO Mark Schneider’s planned sit-down with investors next week, where he’s expected to outline a broader streamlining effort.

About 100 staffers are expected to make the shift to the new location, while Galderma looks for 300 volunteers to take an exit package. And while they don’t want to close the campus in France, looking for someone to step in, they also don’t have any specific plans lined up for how it could be used.


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