ARTICLE | Company News

Roche pharmaceuticals news

November 22, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

Roche will restructure and reduce headcount by 4,800 (6%) to about 77,200 as part of its previously announced Operational Excellence Program to reduce costs. Most of the cuts will occur in the pharmaceuticals division, particularly in sales and marketing and manufacturing. Roche attributed the cuts in sales and marketing to the recent setback for diabetes candidate taspoglutide and structural adjustments in its primary care sales organizations. In September, Roche discontinued dosing in eight Phase III trials of its T-emerge program of taspoglutide after data from some of the trials showed higher than expected discontinuation rates due to GI adverse events. Roche also plans to transfer about 800 jobs internally and outsource an additional 700 positions to third parties (see BioCentury, Sept. 6 & Sept. 13).

Roche said it will discontinue some early R&D activities, including RNAi research in Kulmbach, Germany; Nutley, N.J.; and Madison, Wis. Roche acquired the Kulmbach facility from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY, Cambridge, Mass.) under a 2007 deal to discover RNAi therapeutics. Roche also partnered with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. (TSK:TKM; NASDAQ:TKMR, Burnaby, B.C.) last year to develop two of the pharma's RNAi candidates (see BioCentury, July 9, 2007 & May 18, 2009). ...