Biotech Giant Slashes Jobs

World biggest biotech cuts 2,600 jobs in $2B restructuring
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2007 1:34 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Biotech giant Amgen is slashing spending by $1.9 billion by cutting up to 14 percent of its workforce— 2,600 jobs—and closing some production facilities. The restructuring was triggered by plummeting sales of the company's anemia drug Aranesp. The shake up demonstrates that biotech operations are not immune to the problems that plague traditional drug companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

US sales of Aranesp fell 19% in the second quarter in the wake of new dosing and reimbursement rules by the federal Medicare agency because of reports of heart attacks at high doses. "It's the first time in our 27-year history we've had to restructure," said Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer. "It's our turn."