Sepracor cuts 940 positions in restructuring

Marlborough, MA-based Sepracor announced that it plans to cut 530 company jobs and another 410 contract positions as it refocuses its marketing activities. The layoffs, which will claim about one in five jobs at the company, were prompted by the economic crisis that has roiled the biotech industry.

Sepracor is eliminating 180 corporate staffers and 350 field positions along with hundreds of contract sales jobs. Analysts say that the move reflects a shift away from its sleep drug Lunesta, which is facing generic competition this year, and toward respiratory products, which are marketed to a smaller group of specialists. The company's CEO mentioned no cuts in its considerable research activities.

"This is a challenging economic time for the country and the pharmaceutical industry, and it has become necessary for us to proactively adapt to these changes so that we can continue to be competitive in this rapidly-changing environment," said CEO Adrian Adams (photo). He went on to say that the company will be "better positioned to leverage our product franchises, advance our exciting research and development pipeline and allow us to continue to pursue synergistic corporate development and licensing opportunities."

Sepracor's shares shot up 15 percent on the news.

- check out the press release
-  read the report from the Boston Globe