Bristol-Myers Squibb cuts more costs by whacking 160 jobs in Ireland

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) turned in improved financial results last year, in part by cutting costs after refining its focus, like its decision to drop its diabetes drug development partnership with AstraZeneca. The drugmaker is continuing that trend by tightening its manufacturing operations in Ireland and cutting about 160 jobs.

The New York-based drugmaker told employees Thursday that by the end of 2015 it will close its active pharmaceutical plant at Cruiserath in North County Dublin and lay off the 130 employees who work there. It will also eliminate one manufacturing line at an API plant in Swords County, eliminating 30 of the 320 employees there, also by the end of next year. The company said in a statement that it needs to close the 10-year-old Cruiserath facility because of "changing market demand" for some of the products made there. A BMS spokesman who sent along the announcement declined to specify which products those were, but the BMS website says the plant makes APIs for hypertension, HIV and diabetes medicines.

In December, the company sold its share of a 6-year-old diabetes partnership with AstraZeneca ($AZN) for $4.1 billion. Some of the partnership's drugs, like Bydureon, have struggled with sales. The company has made some other adjustments to its R&D focus areas as well. In November, it said it was halting its work in hepatitis C and said it would eliminate research work in neurosciences--excluding Alzheimer's--as the company moves forward.

BMS' attention to costs is already playing out well for the drugmaker. In its last earnings report, it beat analyst expectations on both the revenue side and cost-reduction side. It reported a 6% year-over-year growth in pharma revenues to reach $4.44 billion and for the fourth quarter a 7% spending contraction in marketing, selling and administrative expenses. There was also a 12% drop in research spending.

Now it will have spending cuts to report in manufacturing. Susan Hynes, general manager of API operations in Ireland, said the company is still committed to the country and is working with development officials there to see if there might be another use for the Cruiserath plant. She said BMS "will endeavour to minimize job losses in Ireland."

- here's the BMS statement

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