125 ex-GSK R&D staffers in RTP face the ax--again

Eight months after the ax dropped late last year, 125 former GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) staffers in Research Triangle Park found their jobs back on the chopping block Thursday as their new employer at Parexel included them in a lineup of new layoffs.

The big CRO notified North Carolina officials that they will make the cuts in Durham final during the first half of October. The Triangle Business Journal confirmed that the layoffs will hit the Sanders building, which GSK leased to Parexel as part of its deal to transfer about 450 workers to the CRO in order to complete its big downsizing in the region.

Parexel announced last month that it was laying off 850 workers, 6 months after its deal with GSK.

In its WARN letter to the state, Parexel spelled out a long list of jobs that are being terminated, including positions for data analyst, biostatistician, clinical monitoring associate and project leader. WRAL TechWire was the first to report that layoffs were brewing in the state, noting that staffers were being lined up to get pink slips.

GlaxoSmithKline announced last December that it was cutting about 900 jobs in RTP, where its R&D group has had a big presence for years. The pharma giant was successful in gaining approvals for a slate of new drugs a couple of years ago, but they've been performing poorly in the market and none of its biggest blockbuster hopefuls made it through Phase III. 

GSK's move came amid a flurry of R&D reorganizations over the past 6 months, with Shire ($SHPG), Amgen ($AMGN), Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and others all executing restructuring moves that involved layoffs and relocations. Although the biotech industry is booming, there's a constant search for greater efficiencies, an emphasis on moving staffers into major hubs and--like GSK--dealing with weak pipelines and anxious analysts.

- here's the report from the Triangle Business Journal