ARTICLE | Company News

Roche restructuring, to cut 6%

November 18, 2010 1:39 AM UTC

Roche (SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY) 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 the 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 gastrointestinal adverse events. Roche also plans to transfer about 800 jobs internally and outsource an additional 700 positions to third parties.

Roche said it will discontinue some early R&D activities, including RNAi research in Kulmbach, Germany; Nutley, N.J.; and Madison, Wis. Among Roche's partners in the RNAi space, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. (TSX:TKM; NASDAQ:TKMR) fell C$0.77 (11%) to C$6.17 on Wednesday, while Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY) slipped $0.61 to $10.94. Roche partnered with Tekmira last year to develop two of the pharma's RNAi candidates. Roche acquired the Kulmbach facility from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY) under a 2007 deal to discover RNAi therapeutics. On NASDAQ, Tekmira slid $0.96 (14%) to $6.03. ...