As profits surge, Lundbeck slashes R&D staff in Paramus, NJ, Denmark

In another sign that 2011 is likely to mark a major turning point for the global drug research industry, H. Lundbeck is taking the budget axe out to chop out up to 175 R&D jobs at its research centers in Paramus, NJ and Denmark. Lundbeck plans to add some sales muscle by hiring hundreds of new marketers while turning to more outsourcing on the R&D side to make up for the new research cuts. And the pharma company says it's closing in on two key new drug applications to help replace revenue lost to generics.

Lundbeck unveiled the news that it will fire from 125 to 175 of its 1,400 R&D workers in its latest quarterly statement. The pharma company reported that a fundamental part of its R&D strategy is to "establish greater flexibility in the use of external and internal capabilities." That's code for cutting in-house while relying more on CROs and other outsourcers to handle more of the heavy lifting in R&D, part of the controversial "open ecosystem" trend that has been adopted by such industry leaders as Sanofi and Pfizer.

"This is something we very much regret, but it is necessary in order to strengthen our long term growth prospects," commented chief executive Ulf Wiinberg, according to a story from Pharma Times.

This isn't the first time that Lundbeck has cut R&D. Economizing in research helped Lundbeck to push operating revenue up 18 percent in the second quarter. And company executives highlighted the potential for Onfi (clobazam), an epilepsy drug slated for an FDA filing in the fourth quarter, and the alcohol dependence drug nalmefene, which is expected to be filed in Europe by the end of this year as well.

- check out the Lundbeck release
- read the story from Reuters
- here's the report from Pharma Times