AstraZeneca CEO announces major R&D overhaul

Hannah Blake

pharmaphorum

AstraZeneca’s CEO Pascal Soriot has announced major changes to the company’s R&amp,D facilities in the UK, US and Sweden in a bid to improve pipeline productivity.

Under the plans, AstraZeneca’s small molecule and biologics R&amp,D activities will be concentrated in three strategic centres, which are expected to be fully implemented by 2016.

Firstly, the company is to invest approximately US$500 million to establish a new facility in Cambridge, which will become AZ’s new global corporate headquarters. While Gaithersburg is already home to MedImmune’s headquarters, it will also become home to AZ’s US Global Medicines Development department. And the third centre will continue to be AZ’s site in Mölndal, Sweden.

These plans mean that over 2,500 roles will be relocated and around 1,600 jobs will be axed, including the closure of the company’s Alderley Park facility in Cheshire, England.

“The changes we are proposing represent an exciting and important opportunity to put science at the heart of everything we do because our long-term success depends on improving R&amp,D productivity and achieving scientific leadership.

“This is a major investment in the future of this company that will enable us to accelerate innovation by improving collaboration, reducing complexity and speeding up decision-making. The strategic centres will also allow us to tap into important bioscience hotspots providing more of our people with easy access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities.”

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.

Pascal, who is to present his detailed strategy plans to investors on 21st March, said the changes will lead to a restructuring charge of US $1.4 billion, but that annualized benefits of the overhaul will reach approximately $190 million by 2016.

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Related news:

Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca to cut 700 UK jobs but invest £330m (Independent)

AstraZeneca to axe 1,600 jobs in major R&amp,D overhaul (Reuters)

Reference links:

AstraZeneca press release

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