Based: Basel, Switzerland
Themes: R&D restructuring
Out with the old, in with the new, seems to be the theme in R&D. First, Pfizer ($PFE) moved to wind down much of its work at Sandwich in the U.K., and this year Roche ($RHHBY) followed by saying it would shutter its big complex in Nutley, NJ, making its Genentech operations in California into the central development engine in the U.S.
One of the big winners in the shift is China. Roche has hired on 5,000 people there in recent years. And as it eliminated 1,000 jobs in New Jersey, it announced plans to hire 1,000 more in China. Another big winner in all this was Manhattan, the unlikely victor in a heated competition to host a new, though significantly reduced, East Coast R&D center for the pharma giant.
Roche is one of several big pharma companies that won't back down from a multibillion-dollar commitment on R&D. Layoffs in one division are likely to continue to be offset by new hires elsewhere. And there's an expansion under way at its HQ in Basel as well.
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