Abbott lops off another 450 jobs at stent plant

Abbott Laboratories is slashing jobs at the plant that makes its Absorb device--courtesy of Abbott

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) has laid off another 450 employees from its vascular division, this time targeting a San Diego-area plant that manufactures stents.

As the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, Abbott is axing jobs at its Temecula, CA, facility, leaving about 2,000 employees at a site that produces stents and interventional cardiology devices.

Abbott is following a previously announced staff reduction plan, doing away with manufacturing and support positions related to its last-generation products with declining demand, spokesman Jonathon Hamilton told FierceMedicalDevices last week.

The California layoffs follow last week's 200 job cuts at a stent and catheter plant in Ireland, but the Temecula facility is still a major part of Abbott Vascular's future, the Union-Tribune reports, as it's ground zero for production of Abbott's Absorb stent. Absorb is designed to harmlessly dissolve in the body once it has done its job, and Abbott is in the midst of a large-scale trial seeking FDA approval for the novel device.

Now that Abbott has spun out its innovative drug business into AbbVie ($ABBV), vascular devices make up a huge portion of its business. The unit reported an 8.1% decline in revenue last quarter, dragged down by a 24.6% slide in U.S. stent sales.

But Abbott plans to reverse the fortunes of its largest business by commercializing more and more devices to make up the loss. In January, the company launched the next-generation Xience Xpedition drug-eluting stent, and Abbott is already seeing sales returns on Absorb after kicking off international sales of the device last year.

- read the U-T story

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