Report: Abbott is cutting diagnostics division jobs

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) laid off an undisclosed number of diagnostics division employees based at its Illinois headquarters, the Chicago Tribune reported recently.

A company spokesperson would not confirm how many jobs got slashed, but the Abbott representative told the newspaper that the cuts aren't sudden. Rather, they stem from an expense reduction plan Abbott revealed earlier in 2014, for which it took $194 million in charges.

The Abbott spokesperson would not tell the Chicago Tribune which departments got hit with the layoffs. At the same time, an unnamed source is quoted as saying that Abbott's diagnostic division is enduring this round of cuts.

FierceDiagnostics could not reach Abbott for comment at deadline.

Abbott has slashed legions of jobs over the last few years in a bid to streamline and cut costs. But it remains very much in transition, 18 months after spinning off its brand-name pharmaceuticals into the company now known as AbbVie ($ABBV). Diagnostics sales have soared in the months since, but medical device sales remain sluggish. Abbott has also recently snatched up two companies in the pharmaceutical and generic pharmaceutical spaces, and both deals were fairly pricey and involved the acquisition of substantial debt, according to the article.

Abbott's diagnostics division has chugged along nicely over the last year, scoring a companion diagnostic deal for a Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) cancer drug, plus FDA and CE mark wins for diagnostic tests in the prenatal, cancer and diabetes spaces.

- read the full Chicago Tribune story

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