Amgen, navigating 'industry headwinds,' puts 300 commercial jobs on chopping block

As the biopharma industry flips the calendar on a new year, the threat of layoffs continues to loom for companies large and small.

Amgen is cutting around 300 jobs in the U.S.—mainly along commercial lines—a company spokesperson said in an email confirming “recently announced organizational changes.”

“We made these changes to better manage against industry headwinds so that we can continue to deliver value for our patients, staff and shareholders,” the spokesperson continued.

“These decisions are never easy, and we are committed to helping those impacted with transitional support,” he added.

Endpoints News first reported the job cuts on Sunday.

Amgen’s layoff round follows Abzena’s 66-staffer purge in 2023 plus countless other staff reductions that took place throughout the previous year.

Last week, Abzena, a CDMO specializing in development and production of antibody-drug conjugates, laid off 66 employees in San Diego, a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification alert showed.

The move came amid a period of apparent transition for the company, which hired a new CEO in early January.

Just a few weeks before that, Swiss juggernaut Novartis pruned 285 jobs across three sites in New Jersey.

At the time, a Novartis spokesperson confirmed to Fierce Pharma that the cuts would affect former pharmaceutical and oncology divisions plus certain functions in global drug development, customer technology solutions, communication, finance and more.

Novartis’ move forms part of a broader initiative to trim some 8,000 jobs worldwide, with the cull telegraphed to go all the way up to the company’s executive suite.

Johnson & Johnson and contract manufacturing major Catalent are also among those with workforces that have taken a hit in recent months.

The trend has been even more pronounced among smaller biotechs, where Fierce Biotech last year tallied 119 layoffs overall, with the most—23—taking place in November.

So far, the plague of layoffs doesn’t seem to have abated in 2023, with Fierce Biotech tracking nine rounds of cuts so far in the first month of the year.

Still, it’s not all bad news on the biopharma job front. Messenger RNA specialist Moderna recently told Fierce Pharma it’s staffing up to the tune of 2,000 new workers in 2023. Moderna is “cognizant” of the current layoff environment, and “we’re mapping where it’s happening to see if these are skills we can tap into,” the company’s chief technical operations and quality officer, Jerh Collins, Ph.D., said in a recent interview.