CSL Vifor lays off 85 staffers in US commercial group in wake of $11.7B buyout

One year after Vifor Pharma officially joined the fold at CSL thanks to an M&A deal, the iron deficiency specialist is shedding 85 staffers based in California.

CSL Vifor disclosed the layoffs in a California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification. The state lists the employees' departure date as Oct. 25.

Australian biotech giant CSL closed its $11.7 billion buyout of Vifor last August, in the process gaining Vifor’s iron deficiency and kidney disease portfolios. The acquired company was rebranded as CSL Vifor last August.

After CSL took over, the company launched a strategic review and found that changes to CSL Vifor's U.S. commercial group are needed "in light of our current portfolio of marketed products and near to mid-term prospects to deliver cost, revenue and growth synergies,” a company spokesperson said in an email Tuesday.

“This change will support the company’s long-term future success," the spokesperson added. 

CSL is encouraging those whose roles were affected to apply for newly created positions in CSL Vifor and at CSL's other divisions. 

Under the CSL umbrella, CSL Vifor is joined by vaccine maker CSL Seqirus, plasma collector CSL Plasma and rare disease biotech CSL Behring. The addition of CSL Vifor brought the company's global head count to about 30,000, CSL said at the time.

It’s not uncommon for a company to trim a workforce after closing an acquisition. Gilead Sciences, for example, cut 114 staffers at the former Immunomedics headquarters two years after it snapped up the antibody-drug-conjugate-focused company for $21 billion in 2020.

Another example is Merck, which let go of 143 Acceleron employees months after acquiring the company for $11.5 billion. Staffers impacted in that buyout were either offered a full-time role or asked to stay in their role for a preset period of time to support the integration, a Merck spokesperson said at the time.

Sanofi, meanwhile, laid off 25 Kadmon workers when it closed the acquired company’s former New York headquarters in the wake of a $1.9 billion buyout. The pharma giant also pledged to help the affected employees find positions at Sanofi, a company spokesperson said at the time.