Genzyme faces 1,000 job cuts

So much for last week's news. The Boston Herald reports that Genzyme will cut about 1,000 jobs worldwide. We had reported last week that the specialized nature of Genzyme's drugs, which treat rare genetic disorders, may be a factor in minimizing manufacturing layoffs that may result from a takeover by Sanofi. That report was based on Boston Globe speculation.

The Herald report cites a memo from CEO Henri Termeer to employees that says the big biotech will eliminate roughly 10 percent of its 12,800-employee work force by 2012. Termeer notes in the memo that the Sanofi takeover proposal reinforces the importance of "taking control and maximizing the value we bring to patients and shareholders."

A Genzyme spokesman would not confirm to the Herald the number of layoffs. And there's no word on what proportion of the layoffs would affect manufacturing operations. The cuts, however, will begin before the end of the year, he says. The decision follows an evaluation in which executives benchmarked the company against its peers and identified ways to reduce operating costs.

- see the article

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