Sector News

GSK cutting 720 jobs in manufacturing, R&D and support functions

February 10, 2020
Life sciences

GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccines unit has been a bright spot for the company amid challenges elsewhere, but its recent performance doesn’t make it immune to staff cuts.

GSK is starting a two-year restructuring program at its Belgian vaccine group that’ll reduce its headcount by up to 720 positions, according to the translation of a Wednesday release (PDF). The restructuring will affect R&D, manufacturing and global support functions, and most of the employees who will be affected are managers. Further, GSK doesn’t intend to renew 215 temporary contracts.

The drugmaker employs 9,000 people in Belgium and is the country’s largest pharmaceutical employer.

Even as it cuts jobs, GSK plans to invest €500 million in R&D, manufacturing and other technology over the next three years to support development of new vaccines. In manufacturing, it aims to “strengthen the automation of its production … to increase capacity,” the translated release says.

The changes are aimed at making the company more efficient and establishing a “common approach” to R&D between pharma and vaccines to help the drugmaker decide which pipeline candidates to advance, the release says.

The news comes as GSK released full-year results for 2019, and again vaccines stood out for the drugmaker. The unit turned in 19% growth at constant exchange rates last year, compared with 17% for consumer healthcare. Pharma sales were flat versus 2018. Further, vaccines turned in a 41.4% operating margin, besting the other groups.

For more than a year, Glaxo’s vaccines group has been riding the strength of shingles vaccine Shingrix, which turned in £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion) in sales in 2019. Still, the launch has been hamstrung due to supply constraints. GSK is working to gradually improve supply until it can bring a new production site online, expected in 2024.

Sales for GSK’s meningitis vaccines also grew 15% last year to £1 billion ($1.3 billion).

And in the pipeline, the company is looking forward to proof-of-concept readouts for vaccines against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory syncytial virus.

Meanwhile, GSK has also started preparing for its massive consumer healthcare spinoff. That change will leave the company with its innovative drugs and vaccines groups, while jettisoning a global consumer healthcare leader. The company expects the entire spinoff to cost £2.4 billion, with £1.6 billion of that in cash.

By Eric Sagonowsky

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

April 20, 2024

CureVac and MD Anderson Cancer Center partner to develop new cancer vaccines

Life sciences

CureVac and the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center have announced a co-development and licensing agreement to develop novel messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)-based cancer vaccines. The strategic collaboration will focus on the development of differentiated cancer vaccine candidates in selected haematological and solid tumour indications with high unmet medical needs.

April 20, 2024

FUJIFILM plans $1.2 billion investment in major US manufacturing facility

Life sciences

FUJIFILM Corporation is planning to invest $1.2 billion to expand the planned FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina, US. This news follows the organisation’s announcement of a $2 billion investment in the facility in March 2021. This additional financial boost totals the investment to over $3.2 billion, FUJIFILM confirmed.

April 20, 2024

Sanofi cuts staff in Belgium as early-stage research dwindles

Life sciences

Sanofi’s global restructuring and downsizing is now fully underway, with layoffs stretching to the company’s Belgian offices. Belgian newspaper De Tijd reports that 67 employees have been laid off at a site in Ghent and 32 jobs are on the chopping block at Sanofi’s Belgium HQ in Diegem.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach