AstraZeneca cutting 2,300 more jobs, this time in sales and administrationatives

AstraZeneca’s facility in Fairfax, near Wilmington. Generic drugs have been cutting into the revenues of big companies. (Tim Shaffer / Bloomberg News)

Drugmaker AstraZeneca, which announced big job cuts in research and development Monday, said Thursday morning that it was in the process of laying off 2300 more people from sales and administrative departments over the next three years throughout its worldwide operation.

AstraZeneca has facilities in Wilmington and Newark, Del., but a spokesman declined to specify the local impact.

The company spokesman said the majority of the 2,300 people impacted have been notified or soon will be and those people are largely in sales in Europe. The rest of the 2300 cuts will be determined over the next three years and the company had not determined the department or locations to be reduced.

On Monday, the British-based company said its reorganization plans for research and development involved moving or cutting about 1200 jobs from the facility in Wilmington. About 650 positions will be eliminated, with about 300 moving to Gaithersburg, Md., and about 170 moving elsewhere in the global system. The company also said it would move its headquarters from London to near Cambridge and make other changes to its roster of facilities.

The company has been cutting jobs in phases. The latest or fourth phase involves eliminating 5,050 positions over 2013 through 2016.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca announced that it struck a $420 million deal with Moderna Therapeutics, a relatively new biotech company in Cambridge, Mass. The deal is an attempt to improve the pipeline of new medicine and revenue. There will be $240 million paid upfront and $180 million in milestone payments as drugs are developed.

The reorganization, which included Pascal Soriot joining the company as chief executive officer in October, is meant to reverse the revenue declines prompted by highly-profitable medicines losing patent protection and, thus market exclusivity. Several other products will lose that protection in the next few years.


The company's statement, in advance of its Thursday presentation to investment analysts, is here.