AstraZeneca outlines deep cuts in global R&D ops

AstraZeneca has laid out deep cuts to its R&D operations, announcing plans to shutter its early-stage research work in Wilmington, Delaware, close entire facilities in the U.K. and Sweden and abandon its efforts for a long list of diseases.

In a big move for potential licensing partners, AstraZeneca says it will drop its work on thrombosis, acid reflux, ovarian and bladder cancers, systemic scleroderma, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, hepatitis C and vaccines other than respiratory syncytial virus and influenza. And London-based Arrow Therapeutics will be put out on the auction block.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that AstraZeneca's restructuring will cost the jobs of 550 scientists and support personnel in Wilmington. A spokesperson for the company said that they had scored their R&D programs according to the prevalence of the disease, their likelihood of success and the willingness of payers to pay for them. Any program that didn't measure up faced the chopping block. The spokesperson added that AstraZeneca's Boston R&D operations would probably expand and offer some new posts to the scientists who are losing their jobs in Delaware.

AstraZeneca, which owns MedImmune, a major player in the vaccine field, annnounced deep cuts in its R&D operations a little more than a month ago, with plans to eliminate 1,800 R&D jobs overall.

- check out the story from the Wall Street Journal
- read the Philadelphia Inquirer story
- here's the AP report