Sector News

Amgen puts out welcome mat for Celgene’s Otezla reps, but will they join?

August 29, 2019
Life sciences

Amgen is ponying up $13.4 billion for Celgene’s psoriasis blockbuster Otezla. But it’s not just getting the drug—it’s also picking up the 800 to 900 Celgene employees who work on Otezla. And some Otezla sale reps are worried.

Amgen says it looks forward to welcoming everyone who works on Otezla to the Amgen team to “continue their important work” in psoriasis and other immunologic diseases.

“The Otezla team has done a world class job of building and growing Otezla over time. We expect that approximately 800-900 Celgene employees primarily dedicated to Otezla, including sales reps, will transfer to Amgen,” an Amgen spokeperson said via email.

Amgen declined to say how many of the total number of Otezla workers are sales reps, and Celgene referred questions back to Amgen.

Yet with the final sale months still away, both the Celgene and Amgen rumor mills are working overtime with concerned sales reps speculating about what happens next for them.

Some Celgene sales rep commenters on CafePharma are worried about losing their jobs or their severance packages.

One lamented, “My sense is that Amgen won’t keep us. They have a division calling on Dermatologist with Enbrel. It’s too many reps too much overlap. We are toast!” Another wrote, “My concern is if Amgen keeps us, but then raises our quotas soon after. We can’t get the severance for not meeting numbers.”

Under the Bristol-Myers Squibb acquisition of Celgene, which is the agreement the reps would have been under had the Federal Trade Commission not forced Celgene to sell off Otezla as part of the bigger deal, people whose jobs are eliminated as a result of the merger are set to receive specific benefits. According to documents filed with the SEC, it’s a minimum of six months base pay and a 50% target bonus for full-time and part-time employees not covered by another severance plan.

However, the Otezla reps are no longer under that plan. Since the new Amgen deal was just announced, detailed provisions such as those are still being determined.

One Amgen board commenter on CafePharma said that it would be a good move by Amgen to take most of the Otezla reps.

“Like any sales force, there are some good, some average and some bad. My sense from interacting with them is that they have many more good and very few bad,” the person wrote.

By Beth Snyder Bulik

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

February 4, 2023

MedTrace receives U.S. patent for diagnosing the human heart

Life sciences

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to MedTrace for their method of diagnosing the human heart via 15O-water PET. The patented method is the foundation of the company’s software aQuant, currently under development. Hendrik “Hans” Harms, PhD and Senior Scientist at MedTrace, and Jens Soerensen, Professor and Clinical Advisor to MedTrace, are the originators of the method.

February 4, 2023

Roche taps insider Teresa Graham for top pharma job as setbacks prompt M&A questions

Life sciences

Teresa Graham, currently head of global product strategy for Roche pharma, will become the division’s new CEO next month, Roche said Thursday. Simultaneously, Roche is elevating Levi Garraway, chief medical officer, to the executive committee.

February 4, 2023

J&J’s pharma group quietly works through global overhaul, with layoffs expected to reach multiple countries

Life sciences

Fierce Pharma has obtained internal documents and video of a town hall meeting conducted this week describing what J&J called a “comprehensive review” of its portfolio. Moving forward, J&J plans to operate its vaccines and infectious diseases outfits as one group, the executives explained.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach