Daiichi Sankyo takes another big whack at U.S. sales operations, cutting 280 jobs

Daiichi Sankyo
Daiichi Sankyo is again cutting its U.S. commercial operations with 280 jobs set to go. (Daiichi Sankyo)

Daiichi Sankyo, which has struggled financially since losing exclusivity for its blood pressure drug Benicar, is again swinging the job-cutting ax in the U.S., cutting 280 jobs from its commercial operations.

The Japanese drugmaker last week said the jobs are being eliminated from various locations in the U.S., as it streamlines its business to fit its current U.S. portfolio and “prepare for its upcoming oncology pipeline.”

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"Our priorities are to bring spending in line with revenue, shift resources to maximize Injectafer and our abuse-deterrent pain treatments, and prepare for exciting potential new treatments for patients with cancer being developed by our R&D organization," Ken Keller, president of administrative and commercial for Daiichi Sankyo, said in a statement.

 RELATED: Daiichi caps layoffs drive by melding NJ ops into one HQ

The cuts follow a downsizing of about 1,200 employees in the U.S. which culminated with the company melding its U.S. R&D and commercial operations in a new facility in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, in April 2016. About 700 employees from its former U.S. headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey, and R&D in Edison, New Jersey, made that move.

Daiichi also closed a 170-person R&D facility in India last year and month later shuttered another in Japan with 150 employees.

Daiichi has been trying to remake itself since before losing patent protection on its $2.6 billion seller Benicar in 2016. It has been shifting away from primary care meds and toward specialty drugs such as its clot-fighting pill Savaysa, and Movantik, a constipation drug it markets with AstraZeneca.

Last year it also had to lay out $300 million to settle about 2,300 lawsuits tied to side effects of the blood pressure medication and several related drugs.

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