AZ's MedImmune axing 200 in California R&D restructuring

AstraZeneca's biotech arm, MedImmune, is doing its part in a corporate restructuring operation--axing 200 workers and relocating 100 others as it shutters a pair of facilities in California.

MedImmune's infectious disease and vaccine research centers in Mountain View and Santa Clara, CA, are being closed in the restructuring. Their Hayward, CA, center does survive the shift, though, and will add several dozen of the staffers who are being offered a chance to relocate as it forms a new translational sciences group.

There weren't a lot of details in MedImmune's release. The company did say, though, that it is investing in the Hayward site and added that the layoffs and reorganization are part of its parent company's plans to streamline operations, which capped David Brennan's fairly disastrous tenure as CEO. Brennan pulled the trigger on the $15.6 billion MedImmune buyout 5 years ago. But the company has contributed little by way of new drug approvals, a fact that helped torpedo Brennan's position at the company.

"We're expecting approximately 40 positions will be moved to Hayward," noted MedImmune communications chief Mike O'Brien to FierceBiotech in an e-mail. "The remaining positions will be moved to other MedImmune sites.The investment in Hayward is adding about 40 positions and the formation of a new translational sciences group for applied immunology and microbiology."

The company says the restructuring will be completed in 2014. AstraZeneca ($AZN) has been cutting thousands of jobs in an effort to bolster its bottom line. In the meantime, AZ has been wheeling and dealing, adding new technologies and drug candidates in a series of deals. And AZ R&D chief Martin Mackay has made it clear that the company isn't finished doing deals, with more buyouts and licensing pacts expected by the end of this year.

- here's the press release

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