Sweeping reorg at Orion — centered around cancer and pain — claims 30 staffers
More than a month after Orion signaled that it’s going to bring out the budget axe in search of a major shift, the Bayer partner has settled on a plan — and finalized how deep the cuts are going to be.
The Finnish biotech has decided to focus on cancer and pain moving forward while moving out of neurodegenerative and rare diseases. In addition, it’s dropping the development of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment.
As a result, 32 out of its roughly 500-strong R&D workforce will be “made redundant,” and only six of them will be offered positions elsewhere within the company. This is out of the 430 staffers whom Orion has previously said will be affected.
Orion noted that it will continue to make and sell inhaled pulmonary drugs as well as neuro therapies in its commercial portfolio, and intends to keep investing in those treatments already on the market.
Execs cited the attractive prospects of painkillers and cancer drugs as the reason for the strategic shift.
The androgen receptor inhibitor Nubeqa, a prostate cancer treatment developed in partnership with Bayer, will anchor the oncology front. Orion is also working on other experimental prostate cancer drugs.
It’s working with China’s Jemincare to develop a selective NaV 1.8 blocker to treat acute and chronic pain.
Finally, although it’s dropping a COPD drug, Orion notes it will complete an ongoing bioequivalence study for a new formulation of tiotropium to treat COPD for the European market.