B.S., M.S. manufacturing jobs grow with R&D cutbacks

As the pharma industry compresses R&D, hiring managers are more often seeking candidates for manufacturing and operations jobs. Accompanying this shift is one toward candidates holding B.S. and M.S. degrees and away from the doctorates often sought for research jobs, finds Science.  

It's true among contract manufacturers and drugmakers alike, according to the article. CMOs are increasingly on the receiving end of Big Pharma development and manufacturing work. "In some cases, there is a complete asset shift as companies not only outsource the work, but actually transfer their employees and ownership of their facilities," said Peter Ferguson of recruiter/contractor Yoh, according to the report.

At Human Genome Sciences ($HGSI), associate HR director Wendy Penry said the company had achieved a "steady state." Last March, HGS and collaborator GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) received FDA approval for lupus treatment Benlysta. The approval was HGS's first, according to the company.

At that point, the company needed different skills than those it had in-house, she said. Once the drug has been formulated, there's less need for doctorates. The hiring emphasis shifts to operations, and "the environment becomes standard operating procedure (SOP)-driven, which requires less scientific thinking and more procedural output."

Likewise at HTG Molecular Diagnostics, the story said. "Most companies, as they grow and develop products and successfully sell those products, will expand their manufacturing and operations side and not their research," explained founder Bruce Seligman. He noted that such positions are usually filled by people with Bachelor's and Master's degrees.

- see the story

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