Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) will eliminate about 75 jobs as part of a restructuring of R&D operations to narrow its areas of basic-research focus while spending more on cancer drug development and advancing its late-stage pipeline as planned.
“We anticipate that about 70 to 75 positions will be eliminated as a result of our shift R&D strategy. That represents about 1% of the R&D workforce at BMS,” a company spokeswoman, Laura Hortas, told GEN.
Hortas said “between 15 and 20” of the positions are in Seattle at ZymoGenetics, which BMS acquired in 2010: “Those individuals will have the opportunity to relocate to New Jersey if they decide to do so.”
The remaining positions will be at BMS’ U.S. R&D locations. In addition to the Seattle site, BMS' website lists U.S. R&D facilities in Redwood City, CA; Hopewell, NJ; New Brunswick, NJ; Plainsboro, NJ; Princeton, NJ; Wallingford, CT; and Waltham, MA.
In a statement, BMS said it will step up discovery efforts in immune-oncology while ending broad-based discovery research in hepatitis C, diabetes, and neuroscience. However, several diabetes and hepatitis C compounds are among the commercial and late-stage drugs for which the company said it will continue to carry out development, regulatory, and commercial plans.
Those products, according to BMS, include its diabetes franchise and hepatitis C treatments, as well as the cancer drugs Erbitux (cetuximab) and Sprycel® (dasatinib), the cardiovascular drug Eliquis® (apixaban), the arthritis drug Orencia® (abatacept), the chronic hepatitis B drug Baraclude® (entecavir), and the HIV-1 drug Reyataz® (atazanavir sulfate)/Sustiva® (efavirenz).
BMS also said it will continue to focus research efforts on HIV, hepatitis B, heart failure, oncology, immunoscience, and fibrotic diseases.
“We have decided to shift R&D toward a more specialty BioPharma model that focuses on the areas of significant unmet medical need, driving near-term growth through our current late-stage portfolio and on ensuring the long-term growth of the company by evolving the disease areas and drug platforms on which we concentrate our research efforts,” Francis Cuss, M.B. B.Chir., FRCP, evp, and cso with BMS, said.
This report has been updated from an earlier version to include additional information from Bristol-Myers Squibb.