AstraZeneca announces job cuts and new research centres

Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is axing 1,600 jobs as part of plans to invest in new research and development (R&D) centres in the US, UK and Sweden.

Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is axing 1,600 jobs as part of plans to invest in new research and development (R&D) centres in the US, UK and Sweden.

AstraZeneca said it would reduce its headcount and relocate 2,500 roles to the new centres in Cambridge, UK, Gaithersburg, US, and Mlndal, Sweden.

"I recognise that our plans will have a significant impact on many of our people and our stakeholders at the affected sites. We are fully committed to treating all our employees with respect and fairness as we navigate this important period of change," Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said.

The move is part of the firm's effort to improve pipeline productivity and expands its global reach.

Soriot said scientists will be better positioned to form partnerships with world class talent.

"The changes we are proposing represent an exciting and important opportunity to put science at the heart of everything we do because our long-term success depends on improving R&D productivity and achieving scientific leadership," Soriot said.

Under the plans, the company will invest $500m to establish the new Cambridge centre where research and development staff from the existing London and Cheshire facilities will move.

The new Gaithersburg site will become home to the company's US-based global medicines development activities while the Mlndal facility will primarily focus on small molecules.

The proposals are expected to be fully implemented by 2016.

"This is a major investment in the future of this company that will enable us to accelerate innovation by improving collaboration, reducing complexity and speeding up decision-making," Soriet added.

"The strategic centres will also allow us to tap into important bioscience hotspots providing more of our people with easy access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities."

Shares fell 1.04% to 3,037.50p at 13:21 Monday.

RD

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