Teva, HGS beef up layoff plans in U.S.

More jobs are trickling away in the drug business. Two companies slated new rounds of layoffs today, both of them spurred by common pharma-industry events.

Generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) said it would let 65 employees go at its Irvine, CA, plant, which has attracted some unwanted FDA attention. Meanwhile, Human Genome Sciences (HGS) said it would put another 97 positions on the chopping block, with more to come, in the wake of its merger with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK).

Teva's cuts stem from manufacturing problems at the Irvine plant dating back a few years. The company acquired the plant via its 2003 acquisition of fellow generics maker Sicor, and later, FDA slammed the factory for manufacturing violations. One big issue was contamination of the anesthetic drug propofol, which Teva simply stopped making afterward. The company spent $375 million to upgrade the plant, Globes reports, but full production still hasn't resumed. The 65 layoffs follow 156 cuts there last year.

Human Genome Sciences added 97 to the toll in Rockville, MD, the Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ) reports, with additional layoffs planned for next year. The cuts follow GSK's $3.6 billion buyout, wrapped up over the summer.

Glaxo spokesman Kevin Colgan told the BBJ that the cutbacks are part of the ongoing integration of HGS into the Big Pharma's operations. The company said in September that it would cut 114 jobs, or about 10% of its 1,100-strong workforce, the Business Journal says.

- see the Globes story
- read the BBJ piece

Special Reports: Top 10 Pharma Layoffs of 2012 | Teva Pharmaceutical Industries - Top 10 pharma layoffs of 2011