Boehringer whacks more jobs in U.S.

Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim has now cut nearly 1,000 jobs in the U.S. this year.

German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim, which cut more than 720 jobs in the U.S. last summer, has whacked again. The company has eliminated more than 240 additional jobs in R&D and sales in the U.S and is making cuts in Europe as well.  

The company today confirmed a report from IN THE PIPELINE that it had reduced its payroll by about 244 additional positions in the U.S. since July 1, most of those in Connecticut where the company has its U.S. headquarters. According to the statement emailed to FiercePharma, it will add a new R&D group in the state next year that will have about 35 employees.

The company said the cuts include 120 in small molecule Discovery Research and 60 in other positions in Connecticut. Boehringer also eliminated another 64 positions from its salesforce nationwide.

“In order to continue to deliver on our research strategy, we must create a leaner global Discovery Research organization by consolidating small molecule discovery to two sites in Biberach, Germany, and Vienna, Austria. This decision will result in the closure of the small molecule discovery functions in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and Milan, Italy,” the company said.

Another Boehringer spokesperson said that the company is negotiating with the worker council in Italy and won't know the number of cuts that will happen there until next year.   

The new group, which will be set up next year in Ridgefield, will be focused on cancer immunology discovery research, the company said.

The latest cuts come on top of the 724 jobs that Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. unit said in June would come off its payroll, mostly in sales. Forty-nine of those cuts were from Boehringer’s U.S. headquarters in Danbury, with the remaining losses coming from operations across the country. It indicated those job cuts would be complete at the end of August. The job losses this year followed the elimination of about 900 jobs in the U.S. in 2014.

The German drugmaker has been working hard to revamp itself in the face of big revenue drops after losing patent protection on some of its older drugs including blockbuster blood pressure drug Micardis.

This year, it finalized details on a major asset swap with Sanofi, in which the French drugmaker will take over Boehringer’s consumer health business and the German company will get Sanofi’s Merial animal health operation. Last year,  Boehringer sold its U.S. generics operation, Roxane Labs, to Jordan's Hikma Pharmaceuticals for about $2.1 billion so it could focus on drug development and branded drug sales.

Editor's Note: The story was updated to include information about the company's cuts in Italy.